CHICAGO (CBS) — Comic book and pop culture icon Stan Lee has been accused of a lewd assault in Chicago, and is facing a civil lawsuit.
The former Marvel Comics editor in chief visited Chicago in 2017, for what was billed as his final appearance in the Windy City.
On Monday, a massage therapist filed a lawsuit against Lee, accusing him of fondling himself and touching her inappropriately while staying at a hotel during that visit.
“Things got out of hand. She felt uncomfortable with the things that Mr. Lee was doing,” said Aasim Cunningham, an attorney for the therapist, Maria Carbello.
The lawsuit, filed against Lee under his legal name, Stanley Lieber, seeks more than $50,000 in damages.
Lee, now 95, was at McCormick Place in April 2017 for C2E2, an annual comics convention, and called for a massage therapist while he was staying at the nearby Hyatt Regency hotel.
According to the lawsuit, as Carballo was giving Lee a massage, Lee began to fondle himself, so she cut the session short. She was called back the next day, and given assurances the inappropriate behavior would not continue.
However, she alleges Lee then grabbed her foot, and moved it against his genitals.
Carballo’s attorney cited the #MeToo movement as a reason for her to bring this case to court.
“Going forward, and going against power, that gives you some solace to feel that you’re doing the right thing, and that you, as the victim, are not wrong for making someone answer for their actions,” Cunningham said.
A representative for Lee did not respond to requests for comment. According to published reports, his attorneys have denied the allegations and said the lawsuit could be a “shakedown” attempt on a prominent celebrity.