Reporter Gary Baum on Stan Lee’s difficult final year and claims of elder abuse

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We sat down recently with filmmaker Kevin Smith in his home studio to talk about his new movie ‘Jay and Silent Bob Reboot’--and a lot of other stuff. 

Last week we covered Smith’s film, his relationship with Harvey Weinstein and his Netflix anxiety. But we also wanted him to talk about the late Stan Lee, his idol and his friend. The comic book legend who first wrote many, many Marvel characters--including Spider-Man and the X-Men--died last November at 95. 

In 2018, just a couple of days after Smith suffered a near-fatal heart attack, he called Kim Masters, saying he was worried about Stan Lee. He insisted Masters come to his house, though she was worried about what might be a very stressful conversation so soon after Smith almost left the planet. But Smith insisted.

When Masters made her way to Smith’s house, she brought along her colleague at The Hollywood Reporter, Gary Baum. He had reported on allegations of elder abuse following the death of Mickey Rooney so she felt sure he was the right reporter for this job. 

Before we hear from Smith, we’ll let Gary Baum tell what happened that night and after. You can read Baum’s expose on the chaotic struggle for control of the comic book legend in the difficult final year of Lee’s life here




Kim Masters


Kaitlin Parker