2018-04-24 06:11:02 UTC
Stan Lee sued for sexual misconduct by massage therapist
By Kate Feldman, New York Daily News
Posted Apr 23, 2018 at 9:48 PM
Updated Apr 23, 2018 at 10:10 PM
Maria Carballo claims comic book legend assaulted her during the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo last year
A Chicago masseuse claims that comic book legend Stan Lee assaulted her in his hotel room during a massage.
Maria Carballo filed a lawsuit against Lee on Monday, claiming he assaulted her in his room at the Hyatt Regency during the weekend of April 21-23 last year, during the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, which he attended.
She claims she worked with Lee twice that weekend; the first session, he “began to fondle himself while lying down,” she said in the filing acquired by the Daily News.
After he began to “moan and groan,” Carballo allegedly left early.
She claims Lee apologized for his behavior and she returned the next day “fearful of losing her job.”
Carballo claims in the court documents that she performed a Shiatsu massage, using her feet instead of her hands. Lee then allegedly “took her foot and moved it against his genitals.”
Her suit also cites similar allegations made in early January by a group of nurses who claimed he asked them for oral sex and wanted to be “pleasured,” according to a report by the Daily Mail.
His attorney “categorically” denied the accusations at the time.
“For a long time, I was afraid to ask anyone to help me hold Mr. Lee accountable for how he treated me. He is rich and famous. I am not,” Carballo said in a statement Monday.
“After seeing other women fight to be treated with dignity and respect, I decided, me too. I am still nervous and afraid, but not as much as I was before because I have other people helping me.”
Earlier this month, Lee, 95, denied that he was a victim of elder abuse, despite a report in the Hollywood Reporter, calling it “the most hateful, harmful material.”
Carballo is suing for assault, battery, violations of the Illinois Gender Violence Act, emotional distress and civil conspiracy.
“Women all over the country, especially women in the hotel and service industry, have experienced the pain and embarrassment of being treated like chattel. Whether the men are powerful and influential like Stan Lee, Donald Trump or Bill Cosby, or just everyday businessmen, women deserve to be treated with respect and dignity,” Carballo’s attorney, Alexandra Reed-Lopez, said in a statement.
“Maria knows that she is in for the fight of her life, and we intend to battle with her every step of the way.”
A representative for Lee did not immediately return a request for comment.