As he previously promised, Lee Seung Gi has taken legal action against his former company Hook Entertainment in their fraud scandal, filing suit against the CEO Kwon Jin Young and both former and current directors for embezzlement and fraud.
This morning at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office, we filed a complaint against Hook Entertainment’s CEO as well as [the agency’s] former and current directors.
Like it has been reported many times, Hook hid the fact that music profits were being generated by Lee Seung Gi for approximately 18 years since his debut, and they did not pay [Lee Seung Gi]. Regarding this, we filed a legal complaint against Hook Entertainment CEO Kwon Jin Young and the financial directors on the suspicions of violation of the Act on the Aggravated Punishment etc. of Specific Economic Crimes (occupational embezzlement) and (fraud).
The new wrinkle in this is that he also found out that he wasn’t paid a portion of his advertising model profits.
Furthermore, Lee Seung Gi learned through a recent report that Hook’s former and current directors deceived him and also did not pay a part of his advertisement model profits. His legal representative stated, “Lee Seung Gi believed that approximately 10 percent was paid to the advertisement agency under the title of ‘agency commission,’ but it appears that in actually, Hook Entertainment’s former and current directors did not pay a part of the agency commission to the ad agency and [instead] shared it amongst themselves.”
Only when Lee Seung Gi raised this issue did Hook Entertainment acknowledge this and paid Lee Seung Gi approximately 630 million won (approximately $500,000). Lee Seung Gi’s legal representative stated that they sued Kwon Jin Young and three directors for fraud and occupational embezzlement.
His rep goes on to explain the previous news of Hook sending millions as compensation for unpaid music fees without an agreement, and says that Hook filed a lawsuit to confirm that the debt between them is settled. Lee Seung Gi’s side disagrees on the amount owed and will file a counter suit.
Still in awe that they basically tried to just pay him off considering they must know how much money he already has and that it was never the point. Either way, hope this ends with them paying him every cent with interest, and the involved parties have consequences, but who knows.
Additionally, it seems that politician Lim Jong Seong of the Democratic Party is proposing a new bill called the Popular Culture & Arts Industry Promotion Act based on this case, where artists get yearly reports regardless of whether they request it or not.
“Currently, artists can get accounting information upon request. This law will require the labels to share it.”
“Rookie celebrities or celebrities that are afraid to get into conflict with their agencies may have a hard time requesting accounting documents. I expect by requiring labels to reveal their accounting books once a year, there will be fewer issues arising from unfair practices.”
Obviously politicians injecting themselves into something that’s major entertainment news should always be looked at skeptically, but at its core I don’t see a whole lot of downsides to this for the artists, especially true when it involves agencies who are dealing with literal children. The point about younger celebs not wanting to face backlash for asking is a great one, and while they could still cook the books anyway, at least there would be an established record in the hands of the artists of what the company had claimed. Since it seems to make sense on the surface, I’m sure it’ll fail to pass.