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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Lee Seung-gi sues CEO, executives of Hook Entertainment

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Singer and actor Lee Seung-gi [HOOK ENTERTAINMENT]
Singer and actor Lee Seung-gi [HOOK ENTERTAINMENT]

Singer and actor Lee Seung-gi has sued the executives of entertainment agency Hook Entertainment including CEO Kwon Jin-young for not properly compensating him for his work.

According to Lee’s lawyer, he and his celebrity client submitted forms to sue to the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office in Seocho District, southern Seoul, on Thursday, claiming that the agency executives went against various laws related to the Act of Aggravated Punishment for Specific Economic Crimes by not properly compensating Lee.

“For the past 18 years, Hook Entertainment deliberately hid the fact that Lee Seung-gi was making money from his albums and did not complete the necessary calculations needed to pay him,” said Lee’s lawyer.

He also claimed that Lee has not been properly paid for the advertisements that he shot.

When Lee brought these facts to the Hook executives, they acknowledged their faults, and on Dec. 16 and paid Lee a total of 5.4 billion won ($4.12 million).

The agency said that it finalized the payment of 5.4 billion won as it “does not want to continue the dispute with Lee over settlement issues.”

“Lee confirmed that we no longer have unpaid settlement debt, and to conclude this dispute we have currently taken a lawsuit to court to verify the elimination of debt.”

On the same day, Lee decided to donate the entire amount to charity.

Last month, Lee ended his contract with Hook Entertainment upon becoming aware that his agency had failed to pay the singer his earnings. Lee has been a popular singer since his debut in 2004 and released a total of 137 songs over the past 18 years. He claims he had not received any payment for the digital streams or downloads of his songs.

In the official legal documents sent to Hook last month, Lee demanded Hook disclose financial records regarding his cut for 27 albums and 137 songs.

Hook Entertainment initially denied allegations that it withheld payment to Lee, but according to industry insiders, the agency sent a response to Lee’s document, admitting that Lee had not been properly paid for his songs being streamed. In response, Lee declared that their exclusive contract has been nullified on grounds that Hook violated their terms and conditions.

BY LEE JIAN [lee.jian@joongang.co.kr]