CHICAGO (CN) – A massage therapist claims in a lawsuit filed Monday that comic book legend Stan Lee sexually assaulted her at a Hyatt hotel last year.
Stanley “Stan Lee” Lieber, 95, is a famous comic book writer and former editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics credited with creating some of the greatest comic book characters of all time, including Spiderman, the Hulk, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and Black Panther.
He is now the most recent entertainment icon to be caught in the #MeToo wave of women coming forward with allegations of sexual assault against powerful men.
On April 21, 2017, Maria Carballo, a massage therapist contracted with Therapy Professionals, was contacted to perform a two-hour massage on a client at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago, according to her complaint filed Monday in Cook County Circuit Court. Carballo is represented by Alexandra Reed-Lopez with Cunningham Lopez, who did not immediately respond Monday to a request for comment.
About 30 minutes into the massage, Carballo says she noticed Lee begin to fondle himself and that the sheets were wet around his groin area.
She claims she asked Lee to turn over “in an attempt to diffuse the situation,” but ended the massage at one hour when Lee “began to moan and groan.”
The next day, however, she was repeatedly contacted by her employer, Therapy Professionals, to return and give Lee another massage, the complaint states. The employer allegedly relayed an apology from Lee, and stressed the importance of appeasing VIP clients.
Carballo reluctantly agreed to give Lee another massage at 10 p.m., she claims, but immediately stopped when Lee again began moaning.
Carballo says Lee became angry when she stopped, stood up from the massage table completely naked, and demanded she continue the massage.
Fearing for her job, Carballo continued the massage with her feet, in the style of a Shiatsu massage, instead of her hands so she could keep some distance between her and Lee, the complaint states.
But “after a few minutes, Lee grabbed plaintiff’s food and moved it against his penis and scrotum,” at which point Carballo again stopped the massage.
Lee allegedly paid her $240 cash for the massage, and his assistant, Mac “Max” Anderson, gave her an additional “wad of money” as a tip. Anderson is also named as a defendant to the complaint.
Carballo says she was initially afraid to come forward with her story given Lee’s wealth and prestige, but “after seeing other women protest in connection with the Me Too movement, plaintiff decided to fight for her dignity by standing up for herself.”
This is not the first time Lee has been accused of sexually inappropriate behavior.
In January, news reports emerged that nurses caring for Lee at his Hollywood home had accused him of repeatedly groping and sexually harassing them, but no lawsuits came of the claims.
Lee’s attorney, Tom Lallas, did not immediately respond Monday to a request for comment on the lawsuit.