Marvel CEO countersues Toronto businessman for defamation

The billionaire CEO of Marvel Entertainment is countersuing a Canadian multimillionaire for defamation in a long-running legal battle that was sparked by a dispute over a female tennis pro at their exclusive Palm Beach enclave.Isaac Perlmutter, one the largest shareholders in the Walt Disney Company, filed a lawsuit against Toronto businessman Harold Peerenboom on Tuesday, alleging he illegally obtained DNA from Mr. Perlmutter’s wife, Laura, and falsely implicated the couple in a hate-letter campaign.

The reclusive 73-year old Mr. Perlmutter, who sold Marvel to Disney for $4-billion (U.S.) in 2009, has never given an interview. Mr. Peerenboom, who owns the international head-hunting firm Mandrake and other Canadian businesses, has a defamation suit pending against Mr. Perlmutter in a Palm Beach, Fla., court.The civil litigation stems from a dispute over Karen Donnelly, the tennis pro at the wealthy gated community where both men reside. Mr. Peerenboom alleges that …