Fans may idolize Stan Lee more than any of the fictional superheroes in Marvel Comics and the MCU. He’s the focus of the kind of intense adoration that voraciously follows his every real-life move, which perhaps explains why his recent reported personal troubles — involving allegations of financial exploitation, elder abuse, and even blood theft — have been so closely scrutinized in public.
But during a lengthy interview conducted at his Los Angeles home, Lee recently told The Daily Beast, while closely attended by his daughter and her attorney, that he’s eradicated from his life the personalities who’ve been at the heart of his alleged difficulties.
Playing down the sensational news angles that have zeroed in on Lee’s troubled relationship with former manager Keya Morgan, Lee said Morgan is no longer a part of his life, and that “there really isn’t that much drama” behind all the headlines. In fact, Lee said he’s just a ”pretty damn lucky” artist whose chief regret is that his late wife, Joan, isn’t still beside him.
“There really isn’t that much drama,” said Lee. “As far as I’m concerned, we have a wonderful life. 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. If only my wife was still with us.”
Lee’s daughter, 67-year-old J.C., prompted her 95-year-old father at various points during the interview, especially to correct Lee when he asserted that J.C. had been friends with her attorney, Kirk Schenk — who reportedly set up the interview and sat in on it — “for 30, 40 years.”
“What are you saying — thirty, forty years?” J.C. reportedly corrected him. “I’ve been friends with Kirk for four or five years.”
Still, Lee appeared to refute allegations that J.C. had been abusive to him in the past. “I wish that everyone would be as abusive to me as J.C.,” he said. “…She is a wonderful daughter. I like her. 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.”
Reflecting on the current success of the MCU, Lee admitted that of all his creations, he’s happiest with the way Spider-Man has turned out in the current film cycle. He also said he has no issues with the way his material has been adapted to reflect present-day sensibilities toward cultural inclusivity, by mirroring them in a more diverse array of Marvel characters on the big screen.
“That’s me, ‘Mr. Reboot,’” he said. “We have to represent every person, not just white. And so, we have the Black Panther, and the green Hulk. We must represent the green people.”
You can check out the rest of the interview over at The Daily Beast.