Assistant Calls Stan Lee & Family Martinets

     LOS ANGELES (CN) – A dream job as assistant to Stan Lee turned into a nightmare of unpaid work and a barrage of insults, abuse and threats from the comic book legend and his daughter, the former assistant claims in court.
     Shawn Lukaszewicz was “constantly reminded how lucky he was to work for the most powerful people in the industry and he, therefore, should ‘suck it up’ and be thankful for the abuse,” he says in his Tuesday lawsuit in Superior Court.
     Lukaszewicz sued Stan Lee, his wife Joan Lee, daughter Joan Celia Lee, and two of their corporations, alleging multiple labor code violations, wrongful firing and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
     Lukaszewicz says his initial gig for the Lee family was to set up and help manage a booth at Stan Lee’s ComiKaze convention in November last year.
     He was “enthusiastic and excited about his opportunity to work with the legendary Stan Lee along with his wife and daughter,” believing that he had “landed his dream job in the entertainment industry,” Lukaszewicz says in the lengthy complaint.
     But when Stan Lee visited the booth, he told Lukaszewicz he had done a “shitty job” and called the booth “fucking embarrassing,” according to the complaint.
     Nonetheless, the Lees hired him as a full-time executive assistant, with duties that included launching and managing websites, managing social media for Joan Celia Lee, and running personal errands for the Lees, Lukaszewicz says.
     He claims they offered him $40 an hour for a 40-hour workweek, though he was required to be available around the clock and was not paid for his overtime work.
     Lukaszewicz says he was subjected to unrelenting abuse even when he followed the Lees’ instructions.
     When he delivered mail and documents to Stan Lee at his daughter’s request, Lee answered the intercom by cursing him and telling him to “get the fuck out and never ring my damn doorbell again,” Lukaszewicz says.
     When he posted a photo of Joan Celia Lee on social media, at her request, she called him “fucking stupid” and threatened to fire him, he says.
     The outbursts were often followed by an apology the next day, Lukaszewicz says.
     Around the Christmas holidays, the Lees cut his pay from $40 to $25 an hour, and if he complained about the pay cut or late or short paychecks, he was “reminded that he was lucky to work for the Lee family and he should be thankful,” Lukaszewicz says.
     Even his good deeds were punished, Lukaszewicz says. On an errand to pick up decorations for Joan Celia Lee’s house and office, he thought it would be nice to buy her an Easter basket as a gift, he says.
     When he gave her the basket, Joan Celia Lee “screamed ‘you must be fucking retarded. What the fuck is wrong with you? Why do I need a fucking Easter basket? There must be something wrong with your brain,'” he says in the complaint.
     Afterward, according to the lawsuit, Lee’s attorney Kirk Scheneck called him to apologize for her, saying Lee “was just drunk.”
     When Lukaszewicz bought a plane ticket to fly east to see his mom for her birthday, Joan Celia Lee asked him to delay the trip so he could help prepare for her birthday party, he says. But she reneged on her promise to reimburse him for his plane ticket and pay for a later flight, and berated him in front of guests at her party by calling him a “retarded asshole,” he says.
     While Lukaszewicz drove Stan Lee to an April meeting with boxing champion Manny Pacquiao, “Stan Lee became very abusive towards plaintiff for driving too slow as Mr. Pacquiao was about to depart to Las Vegas for his May 1, 2015 fight with Floyd Meriwether [sic: recte Mayweather],” the complaint states.
     When Pacquiao failed to show at the meeting, Lee called Lukaszewicz a “fucking idiot,” and added: “You wasted my time. Now everyone at the office thinks you are a fucking asshole,” according to the complaint.
     The way Joan Celia Lee fired him was particularly cruel, Lukaszewicz says.
     He claims she smoked marijuana in the car throughout a June trip to San Francisco, and told him at the hotel to drive around the block with the windows open to get rid of the aroma. When he complained that he was not being paid for all of his time, she yelled: “Get out of my fucking car. You are done. You are done,” the complaint states.
     Lukaszewicz says he was abandoned in San Francisco without any money and left to find his own way back to Los Angeles. Also in June, Lukaszewicz says, he was diagnosed with psychiatric and internal injuries related to his work, so he sought legal representation and filed a claim for the injuries.
     In retaliation, the Lees “embarked on a further course of disparaging plaintiff and accused him of criminal conduct,” according to the complaint.
     Lukaszewicz seeks punitive damages on nine counts, including abuse of process, negligence and breach of contract.
     He is represented by J. Felix McNulty, of Tustin, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
     An attempt to reach defendant POW! Entertainment, Stan Lee’s company, was unsuccessful. The final defendant is Fatsalagata, a California LLC.
     Stan Lee, 92, a former president of Marvel Comics, was co-creator of a gallery of superheroes, including Spider-Man, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men.
     His leading illustrators, co-creators of the characters, included Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko. The superheroes star in a multibillion-dollar entertainment galaxy of movies, TV series, comic books, toys and other spinoffs.

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