A man once identified by comic book legend Stan Lee as his partner and business manager -- now the subject of a temporary restraining order that prohibits him from contacting Lee -- is set to be arraigned next week on charges that he lied to police.
Keya Morgan is facing two misdemeanor counts each of falsely reporting an emergency and falsely reporting a crime, along with a probation violation, according to the City Attorney's Office. He is due in a downtown courtroom July 2.
Morgan, who was serving two years probation for making criminal threats, was arrested June 11 and released that evening on $20,000 bail.
Top news of the day
According to court papers, law enforcement and Adult Protective Services officials went to Lee's home on May 30 to perform a "welfare check." Morgan then reportedly arrived at the residence and security guards refused to let him in, while Lee was being interviewed by authorities. At that point, Morgan "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," according to the court documents.
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 the 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 he 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 moved him out of his home earlier this month 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.
Lallas wrote that he, law enforcement and Adult Protective Services,all believe that "Morgan is unduly influencing Mr. Lee and isolating him."
The filing appeared to mark a sharp reversal of fortunes for Morgan,whom Lee lauded in a video posted on Twitter the weekend before the welfare check as "my only partner and business manager."
"I just want to go on the record as saying I have only one partner, only one person who does represent me, and that's Keya Morgan," Lee said on the video. "Anybody else who claims to be my rep is just making that story up... The two of us work together and are conquering the world side by side."
In response to the video, Morgan wrote, "Thank you Stan. Knowing you is one of the greatest honors of my life."
Speaking to the website TMZ on 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. "I have a fantastic relationship with him for the past many years as he has stated countless times on the record and I literally saved his life once."
"This is a witch hunt by his daughter and her lawyer against me because she cannot stand the fact Stan likes me so much," he said. "I will 100 percent prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the allegations against me are false. And I will definitely take legal action against anyone who is making up these lies. The truth will come out."
A judge granted the temporary restraining order, and a hearing on a request for a permanent injunction against Morgan was set for July 6.
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 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. "We are also fans and share the heartfelt admiration and love of the community who have voiced their sincere concern for Stan's well-being."
"We, like you, simply want Stan to enjoy life, connect with his fans when he is able, and most importantly spend his time going forward withoutimpediment or stress. One thing we know for certain is when something is off,the fans bond together. We are touched by the outpouring of love for our ChiefCreative Officer and friend, and we proudly stand with you for Stan."
A Hollywood Reporter investigation published in April suggested that Lee was at the center of a battle being waged by various factions competing for control over his life and business, including Morgan, Lee's daughter, and his former publicist and road manager.