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The Straits Times
Dec 16, 2022
South Korean artist agency Hook Entertainment says it has paid singer-actor Lee Seung-gi 5.4 billion won (S$5.6 million) in an attempt to settle their dispute.
“In the hopes of bringing this legal dispute to an end as soon as possible with Lee Seung-gi, an artiste who has had a long relationship with Hook Entertainment, the agency paid Lee Seung-gi a base earning of 1.3 billion won, unpaid earnings from music distribution amounting to 2.9 billion won, as well as an interest of 1.2 billion won,” it said in a statement published by media outlet Allkpop on Friday.
It was revealed in November that the 35-year-old had not received “even one won” from his agency Hook Entertainment, despite releasing seven albums since his debut in 2004.
This led Lee to take legal action, requesting “details of sales and settlement of accounts” pertaining to his last 18 years in the music industry.
On Friday, Lee finally spoke up about the situation on his Instagram account. He admitted – according to a translation by media outlet Allkpop – to struggling with mental health issues due to the dispute.
“I haven’t exactly been well recently. I was swept up in anger after experiencing betrayal, I became deeply depressed after facing disappointment, I lived in resentment, I lived in self-blame, and these emotions repeated in a cycle day to day.”
Lee said he had taken legal action against Hook Entertainment due to his conviction that “the value of a person’s effort, the value of that sweat, should not be used to feed another person’s greed”.
He confirmed that he received the payment from Hook Entertainment and said he would use the money – minus legal fees – to help people who need financial or medical assistance.
“Next week, I intend to meet a humanitarian organisation to set up plans. There are people who cannot even go about their daily lives because of illnesses. There are people who give up their dreams because of financial difficulties,” he wrote.
“This 5 billion won may not be enough to help all of those people. But it could be one small step towards something.”