Stan Lee‘s daughter Joan Celia “J.C.” Lee is suing her father’s former personal assistant for publicly claiming that she had been physically abusive to the late comic book legend.
According to court documents obtained by PEOPLE, the 69-year-old filed the slander lawsuit after hearing comments Stan’s ex-assistant Bradley Herman made during the podcast, Stan Lee’s World, which aired days after her father’s death at 95 in late 2018.
J.C. is also suing journalist Alan Duke, the host, and creator of the podcast.
Duke didn’t immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment; Herman could not be reached.
While speaking on the show, Herman claimed that J.C. had been physical with her father in the past and once “took her father by the neck and grabbed his neck and slammed his head back into the wood portion of the chair.”
The filing also noted claims from J.C. that Herman used to steal from the Marvel mastermind and would forge his signatures in order to get loans, for which he was later allegedly fired in 2018.
In the documents, J.C. argues that Herman was only making the statements to get back at her after he was let go from his position.
“At no point in time has [J.C] ever struck or otherwise sought to choke or injure Stan Lee,” her lawyers state in the documents. “[J.C] contends Herman was seeking revenge against [J.C.] and that this motivated him to make the False Statement, knowing and intending the False Statement’s publication in the Podcast would injure, embarrass and otherwise harm [J.C.], cause [J.C.] extreme emotional distress, cause [J.C.] financial injury, and induce the public at large to overlook his own fraudulent and criminal acts.”
Before his death, Lee addressed rumors of elder abuse by J.C. in a joint interview with his daughter.
“There really isn’t that much drama. As far as I’m concerned, we have a wonderful life,” Lee told The Daily Beast in 2018. “I’m pretty damn lucky. I love my daughter, I’m hoping that she loves me, and I couldn’t ask for a better life… I don’t know what this is all about… We have occasional spats. But I have occasional spats with everyone. I’ll probably have one with you, where I’ll be saying, ‘I didn’t say that!’ But, that’s life.”
This wasn’t the first time Herman raised concerns about J.C.. In April 2018, he made allegations to The Hollywood Reporter in a feature story titled, “Stan Lee Needs a Hero: Elder Abuse Claims and a Battle Over the Aging Marvel Creator.”
In one instance, Herman claimed he witnessed J.C. calling her parents “f—king stupid,” grabbing her mother, Joanie, by the arm and pushing her onto the floor, after an alleged argument over her father’s new Jaguar convertible.
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