Elder abuse does not escape the rich and famous

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Photo from RI Comic Con, 2016, Altered Reality Entertainment

Elder Abuse does not escape the rich and famous

by Nancy Thomas

Over 5 million Americans are estimated to have been a victim of elder abuse. Stan Lee may have been one of them. 

Long rumored suspicions of abuse of Lee by his business manager, Keya Morgan, were made by Lee’s family members in the last few years of Lee’s life.  Lee died in 2018 at the age of 95.

Morgan was arrested Saturday on charges including embezzlement, forgery, theft, fraud against an elder adult, and imprisonment of an elder adult - all felonies - including one charge of elder abuse, which is a misdemeanor.

Morgan’s charges come from managing Lee’s money, almost single handedly, over the years and include suspicions of his pocketing money from frequent autograph signing events. Even in his 90s, Lee was active traveling throughout the country appearing at comic cons and other events to sign and sell his autograph. Towards his death he had recorded numerous Twitter videos proclaiming how well he was doing.

Morgan has said he is innocent of all charges.

The National Council on Aging has many facts and warning signs about how situations can put one at risk for abuse by their family members or others close to the person. Key in all situations seems to be isolation and a dependency upon that one person.  Also, diminished capacity such as dementia or Alzheimer’s adds to the risk. Elder abuse can happen in professional settings such as nursing homes, assisted living and other facilities, but often happens quietly in homes - and more often than not it will go unreported, with studies estimating only 1 in 14 cases are reported to authorities.

More information is available at www.ncoa.org.

In 2016, on Veterans Day, Stan Lee was presented with honors by the U.S. Army at an event that was held at RI Comic Con. He was recognized for his service as a Sergeant in the Army 72 years ago. In accepting the awards Lee noted that this was on the level of important milestones in his life as his marriage and the birth of his daughter. The ceremony ended with salutes and an emotional presentation of a US flag to Lee.