LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A former manager for Stan Lee pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to charges of elder abuse against the superhero creator in the last few months of his life.
Keya Morgan, 43, a New York-based memorabilia collector, entered the plea in Los Angeles Superior Court where he faces five counts of elder abuse, including false imprisonment, fraud and forgery.
Prosecutors allege that Morgan, 43, stole more than $100,000 (£78,796) in goods and property from Lee, whose estate was worth an estimated $50 million. Morgan was arrested in Arizona last month. His bail was set at $300,000.
Lee, the co-creator of “Spider-Man,” “Iron Man,” “The Hulk” and dozens of other Marvel superheroes, died in November 2018 at age 95.
Morgan, who was also Lee’s caregiver, began working for Lee in February 2018 following the death a few months earlier of his wife of 70 years, Joan.
Los Angeles police said in a statement last month that in June 2018, Morgan removed Lee from his Hollywood Hills home late at night and took him to an apartment in Beverly Hills in a bid to convince the comic book creator that he was in danger.
Lee’s family obtained a restraining order against Morgan after the incident. The court documents filed in support said Lee’s sight and hearing was failing, his judgement was impaired and he was unable to resist “undue influence.”
Reporting by Reuters Television; Writing by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Matthew Lewis and Leslie Adler