A lawsuit has been filed against Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee by a massage therapist who says he ‘fondled himself’ during a massage session.
Maria Carballo says that she had an appointment with the 95-year-old at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Chicago in April last year.
But she claims that 30 minutes into the session, she ‘noticed that Lee began to fondle himself as she performed the massage’.
The suit (via People) was filed yesterday at the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, and goes on to say that Carballo then asked Lee to move onto his back, hoping to ‘diffuse’ the situation.
However, she claims that she noticed that the sheets he was lying on ‘were wet’, though she decided to give him ‘the benefit of the doubt’.
It was when she began to massage his upper legs that she alleges he began to ‘moan and groan’, at which point she ended the session, though Lee remained on the table where he complained that the massage was ‘supposed to last two hours’.
Carballo says she charged for the half hour, and left, but was later contacted by her employer, who insisted she return, stressing the importance of ‘appeasing’ VIP clients and relaying an apology from Lee.
Though she explained that the situation had made her uncomfortable, she was concerned for her job and agreed to return the following day.
She said that she was greeted by four security guards, the concierge at the Hyatt and another of Lee’s entourage, who apologised for his previous behaviour.
But the suit alleges that again Lee began ‘moaning’, and she ‘immediately stopped the massage and asked Lee to put his clothes on so that she could get her belongings and go home’.
However, Carballo says ‘Lee stood up from the massage table, completely naked and became angry’, demanding the massage continue.
“In an effort to appease Lee and in fear of retribution from her employer, [Carballo] agreed to continue the massage for another 10 minutes,” reads the suit, at which point she began a Shiatsu massage using her feet in order to give her ‘more protection’ should he try to ‘act inappropriately again’.
But she says that after a few minutes, ‘Lee grabbed [Carballo’s] foot and moved it against his penis and scrotum’.
After this, she ‘freed herself from his grip’, gathered her belongings, asked for the $240 she was owed and left the suite.
The complaint goes on to say that while waiting for the lift to the lobby, an assistant of Lee’s approached her, thanked her for returning, and gave her ‘a wad of money as a tip’.
She took the money and went home, adding that she did not tell the police for fear of losing her job, and claims that Lee’s assistant was aware of his inappropriate behaviour.
Carballo is seeking in excess of $50,000, plus damages and fees over the incident, the latest in a series of controversies surrounding Lee.
Earlier this year, Lee was accused of groping and harassing care nurses employed to assist him at his home in the Hollywood Hills.
It was alleged that he walked around naked, and asked nurses for oral sex, with the nursing firm confirming that ‘several complaints’ had been made about him.
Lee’s lawyers denied any wrongdoing ‘categorically’, calling the allegations ‘false and despicable’.
Earlier this month, it was claimed that Lee was the victim of elder abuse and fraud at the hands of his daughter Joan Celia ‘J.C.’ Lee and associates of her’s.
He later posted a video online denying the claims, though Lee’s lawyer claimed that he had signed a declaration confirming the claims.
Meanwhile, Lee filed a lawsuit against former manager Jerardo Olivarez earlier this month, alleging ‘unauthorised and fraudulent’ dealings with his personal and financial affairs.