News reports claimed that singer Lee Sang Min was accused of defrauding an acquaintance for 1.27 billion won (~$1.1 million USD). The alleged victim filed a lawsuit against him and opened up about it to the media.
He claimed that Lee Sang Min made various monetary promises but did not come through with it.
Back in 2014, Lee Sang Min told ‘A’ that he would help him get a loan for 4.5 billion won (~$4 million USD) if he gave Lee Sang Min 400 million won (~$350,000 USD). He took the money but ‘A’ did not receive any loans.
Lee Sang Min also took 870 million won (~$750,000 USD) from ‘A’ after claiming that he will promote ‘A’s company on a program that he MCs.
The plaintiff also added that he was unable to pay his employees or his debt off properly. As a result, a lawsuit was filed against him for alleged fraud and bribery.
After the news reports were released, Lee Sang Min personally took to Instagram to respond to the claims. He uploaded a photo that read, “First, I apologize for causing trouble through unsetting rumors. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to reveal the truth within a short time period, but I wanted to upload this message to state the truth.”
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오늘 저에 대한 고소 건으로 신문기사 등에 실린 내용은 전혀 사실과 다릅니다. 먼저 저는 근거 없이 저를 고소한 자를 무고 및 명예훼손으로 맞고소하는 등 가능한 모든 법적 대응을 다할 계획임을 밝힙니다. 실체적 진실은 수사기관에서 명명백백하게 밝혀지겠지만, 간략히 말씀드리자면 위 고소 건의 경위는 다음과 같습니다. 저는 수년 전 가까운 지인으로부터 모 건설사 브랜드 광고모델을 해달라는 부탁을 받고 광고모델 계약을 체결했습니다. 이후 저는 광고모델 활동 및 광고주가 제작한 예능프로그램에까지 출연을 하는 등 광고계약을 충실하게 이행하였습니다. 그러나 고소인 측은 오히려 저를 포함한 모든 출연진의 방송출연료 및 인건비 등을 지급하지 않아 피해자들이 많은 상황 입니다. 제가 들은 바로는 저를 고소
한 광고주는 3년전 횡령죄로 7년 6개월의 실형을 선고받고 현재 수감중인 것으로 알고 있습니다. 여러 정황을 종합하여 고려해 볼 때 아마도 고소인 측은 금전적인 이유에서 무고한 저를 옭아 매려는 의도를 가진 듯 합니다. 고소인 측은 형사고소로 저를 압박하여 정당하게 취득한 광고모델료를 반환받고자 하나, 저는 이미 계약에 정해진 내용을 이행하여 광고모델료를 반환할 하등의 이유가 없습니다. 어찌됐거나 공인인 저를 둘러싼 불미스러운 일로 대중 여러분들께 심려를 끼치게 된 점 송구스럽게 생각합니다.
He clarified that he is innocent of the accusations that the plaintiff had filed and explained that the plaintiff was trying to threaten him with a lawsuit for financial reasons.
The news reports about a lawsuit that was filed against me are all false. I plan on taking every legal action possible against the accusing person for defamation.
I’m sure the truth will be revealed through the investigations, but this is what actually happened in regards to the lawsuit.
Many years ago, a close acquaintance asked me to become a model for their brand, and I signed an endorsement deal with them.
Afterward, I worked hard to fulfill my endorsement deal by promoting as a brand model and appearing on variety shows that were affiliated with the brand. But the plaintiff did not pay any of the staff or myself for the broadcast appearance fees, which resulted in a lot of victims.
From what I understand, the plaintiff was charged with embezzlement and was sentenced to 7 years and 6 months in jail, which he is serving out right now. Considering the various circumstances, it appears that the plaintiff is trying to taint my innocence for financial reasons.
The plaintiff is threatening me with a lawsuit in order to take back the endorsement deal payment that I had rightfully earned by fulfilling my part of the contract. I had completed my duties from the contract so there is no reason for me to return my contract payment.
Regardless, I am embarrassed and apologetic to the public for having my name involved in such uncomfortable issues.
— Lee Sang Min
As Lee Sang Min is preparing to take legal action against the accuser, many of his celebrity friends have left supportive messages under his post.
As celebrities who are accused of controversial issues are usually taken off broadcast shows, netizens wondered if any of Lee Sang Min’s popular shows would take him out of the lineup.
JTBC’s Knowing Bros stated, “We are looking into the development of Lee Sang Min’s recent case. We will continue broadcasting as usual.” MBN’s Hit The Top also revealed that they will not be taking him off the show by stating, “Our broadcast will air without any changes. We will keep an eye out on the situation.” Lastly, SBS’s My Old Boy and Mnet’s Guess My Next Move also revealed that they are “looking into the issue” but have not announced any changes so far.