It was revealed yesterday that Jessica was ordered by the courts to pay over $1.6 million to two Chinese agencies after losing in Chinese court and two Korean courts. It was difficult to figure out exactly what had happened, but it certainly didn’t look good given the verdicts.
Recently, her agency Coridel Entertainment stepped forward with their side of things regarding the contract violation lawsuit. They start by saying that they signed the contract and that the agencies had an obligation to pay Coridel fees, but after THAAD happened they were the ones who violated the contract.
To promote Jessica’s activities in China, Coridel Entertainment signed a transfer contract with two Chinese agencies to exclusively manage Jessica’s promotions in China. According to the transfer contract, the Chinese agencies were obligated to pay a specific sum of money in authorization and consultation fees, as well as the payment from Jessica’s Chinese promotions, to Coridel every month. Up until the first half of 2016, Jessica was very active in China, attending events supervised by Newstyle. But when the THAAD incident began, the Chinese agencies used this as an excuse to default on the payments for Jessica’s Chinese promotions, and from July 2016, they also stopped paying the authorization and consultation fees required by the transfer contract. Jessica has therefore been promoting in China without receiving payment until now.
The Chinese agencies then asked for arbitration, so Coridel asked that the agencies pay what Jessica was owed for promotions in China and were denied, so Coridel canceled the contract transfer.
After this, the Chinese agencies asked Coridel for an arbitration meeting to solve various issues related to the THAAD situation. Although Coridel’s trust in the Chinese agencies had been betrayed, a speedy resolution was desirable and Coridel fully participated in the arbitration meeting. However, in order for a smoother arbitration process, Coridel requested that the Chinese agencies at least pay the amount due for Jessica’s past and current promotions in China. The Chinese agencies denied this request. As a result, Coridel had no choice but to notify the agencies that the transfer contract was canceled in October 2016. In spite of the situation outlined above, if the Chinese agencies only made good on their delayed payments and showed their willingness to continue the transfer contract, Coridel was willing to resolve the issue with them.
After that, the Chinese agencies decided on going to arbitration over the termination of the contract. Their claim is essentially that the Chinese companies violated the contract first but the Chinese companies claimed otherwise and cited a specific example.
Instead, the Chinese agencies did not respond to the notification of contract cancelation for a long time. Suddenly, in 2017, they filed a request for arbitration, stating that Coridel had unfairly nullified the contract and requesting that Coridel pay them a cancellation charge and return the profit payments and authorization and consultation fees that had been paid. They also falsely asserted that Coridel was the first one to violate the contract. Specifically, the Chinese agencies mentioned a real incident in which Jessica attended an NBA match in San Francisco and had an interview with one of the many reporters there, who happened to be Chinese. The Chinese agencies twisted this into an “official promotion in Chinese territory” and said it was a violation of their exclusive management rights. But Jessica was in the United States, not Chinese territory, and she was not paid for the interview. The Chinese agencies have made an unbelievable claim in order to make it appear that there were grounds for their lawsuit against Jessica. Moreover, the Chinese agencies knew about the interview at the time and did not have a problem with it because it was not an activity in which profit was being made. There are no documents proving that the Chinese agencies did not approve of the interview when it occurred, and it is clear that the agencies have only focused on this incident in order to make it seem like Coridel was to blame.
Their contention is basically that the Chinese companies made up a problem after the fact based on a potential technicality that had no validity.
Now to the important part, which is how they got ruled against. Basically they claim the court in China handed down a biased judgment based on inaccurate facts, but mainly expressed shock that the Korean courts upheld the rulings of the Chinese court.
Coridel, as a party in the transfer contract, was willing to participate in the legal arbitration that the Chinese agencies filed against them. However, the arbitration proceeded as if Jessica was one of the parties involved, which was unfair, as she was only an artist under Coridel Entertainment. However, since arbitration is not as detailed and exact as a legal proceeding, the Beijing Arbitration Commission did not accept Coridel’s legitimate claims due to a lack of evidence. Instead, the commission accepted the Chinese agencies’ claims and judged that Coridel should pay them the cancellation fee and return to them the profits, consultation fees, and authorization fees that they previously paid to Coridel. The Beijing Arbitration Commission’s arbitration did not accurately reflect the evidence and situation, and the resulting judgment was biased. In order to effect an arbitration decision made in a foreign country, the Korean courts must approve the decision. The Chinese agencies went to the Seoul Central District Court and filed a request to enforce the arbitration decision made in China against Jessica herself rather than Coridel Entertainment. We regret not only the Beijing Arbitration Commission’s mistaken decision, but also that it went so far as to be filed in the Seoul Central District Court as well. In spite of the fact that the situation and the evidence proves that neither Coridel nor Jessica had committed wrongdoing, we were shocked to learn that the Korean courts had sided with the Chinese agencies in their decision. In the past, an arbitration decision made in a foreign country were enforced through a lawsuit, but currently the arbitration laws allow for those decisions to be approved through a simple application process. Coridel took legal steps to prevent the Chinese agencies from filing this application, but there were institutional limitations. Despite the fact that Coridel vigorously fought against Jessica being named as the direct party involved in the contract arbitration, Coridel lost the first and second lawsuits. However, we believe in Korea’s justice system and that the truth will prevail, so we have filed for a third lawsuit at the Supreme Court.
Yeah, this all would hypothetically make sense and courts getting things wrong on matters like this wouldn’t be surprising. However, it really is just their side of things against three rulings across two countries, so it’s hard to figure how they’ve all supposedly got it wrong.
That said, it does seem like whoever from the company that handled this was to blame and not Jessica being personally liable despite the courts seemingly ruling so. I could see at least the $1.6 million judgment being reduced if they agree with Coridel on that front, but for now it’s hard to go against what the courts have judged without any receipts from Coridel.