LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A memorabilia collector who had been acting as Stan Lee's business manager, and is now the subject of a temporary restraining order that prohibits him from contacting the comic book legend, pleaded not guilty today to charges that he lied to police.
Keya Morgan was ordered to return to court July 26 for a pretrial hearing on two misdemeanor counts each of falsely reporting an emergency and falsely reporting a crime. He is also facing a potential probation violation, based on an earlier conviction for making criminal threats in a case that did not involve Lee.
Law enforcement and Adult Protective Services officials went to Lee's home on May 30 to perform a welfare check. Morgan then arrived at the residence and security guards refused to let him in while Lee was being interviewed by authorities, according to court documents. At that point, Morgan allegedly ``made a false 911 call, claiming that there were three unidentified burglary suspects in his 95-year-old friend's home who had locked everyone out of the house.”
Later that night, Morgan called 911 again, accusing a security guard at the home of assaulting him and Lee with a deadly weapon, according to court papers.
Lee, 95, is the man behind Marvel superheroes such as Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man and Black Panther. He requested a order against Morgan, who Lee had days earlier insisted was his sole partner and business manager. The court documents allege in part that Morgan isolated Lee from his family and other associates, and recently moved him out of his home and into a condominium.
``The respondent Keya Morgan, a memorabilia collector who inserted himself into Mr. Lee's life as his caregiver following the passing of Mr. Lee's wife in July 2017, took control of Mr. Lee's home on Feb. 15, 2018,” according to the court documents filed on Lee's behalf by attorney Tom Lallas. ``He hired a security team and made household decisions.”
Speaking to the website TMZ on June 11, the day of his arrest, Morgan said he thinks Lee's daughter is behind the court filing.
``I have taken great care of Stan Lee for the past many years, and have never had a problem directly with Stan,” he told TMZ. ``This is a witch hunt by his daughter and her lawyer against me because she cannot stand the fact Stan likes me so much.”
A judge granted the temporary restraining order, and a hearing on a request for a permanent injunction against Morgan is set for Friday.
Questions have circulated for months about Lee's well-being and the management of his affairs. In May, Lee filed a billion-dollar lawsuit against POW! Entertainment, the company he co-founded, alleging that company officials had conspired to steal his identity, image and likeness and negotiated a sham sale of the firm.
The suit claims the company took control of Lee's personal social media accounts and was impersonating him online.
In April, POW! Entertainment issued a statement expressing concern for Lee's well-being, amid reports that Lee was the victim of elder abuse.
``We at POW! Entertainment take great pride in our continuing work to create exciting new Stan Lee content and characters as well as safeguarding the legacy of the greatest story teller of our time,” according to the statement.
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