Entertainer Lee Sang Min responded to reports of a fraud lawsuit.
On July 23, the plaintiff 'A's lawyer Choi Yoo Jin told media outlets, "We filed a complaint against Lee Sang Min for fraud up to 1.3 billion Won ($1.1 million USD) at the Seoul Central District Prosecutor's Office." Lee Sang Min is accused of receiving almost 1.3 billion Won in return for helping 'A' with a bank loan and for acting as an endorsement model for 'A's company. 'A' alleged he was unable to pay back his loan or pay his employees and was eventually sued for fraud himself in 2016 because Lee Sang Min did not follow through completely. 'A' heard on a television show Lee Sang Min had paid back his old debt, and he alleged he contacted the celebrity as well as his agency but received no response.
However, Lee Sang Min is denying the claims, stating, "It's not true. I'm being unfairly accused. It's true 'A' sent me a certification of contents, but not all of the reports is true. I did officially sign a contract with that person as a promotional model. I heard that 'A' was being sued later." Lee Sang Min further stated his only relationship with 'A' was as a promotional model and not as an advertiser, and 'A' falsely accused him after he refused to help him.
Lee Sang Min also released the following official statement:
"The content of the newspaper report released today about being sued for fraud is different than the truth.
Firstly, I'd like to state that I have plans to take all the legal action that is available against the person, who sued me without evidence, including filing a suit for false accusations and defamation of character.
The truth will be clearly revealed through an investigative agency, but if you would like to hear it from my own lips, these are the details of the lawsuit that has been filed against me.
Years ago, I received a request from a close acquaintance to act as a brand commercial model for a construction company, and I signed a model contract. Afterwards, I promoted as a commercial model and even appeared on variety shows the advertising company produced. I fully cooperated with the terms of my contract.
However, the person who sued me soon created a lot of victims, including myself, by not paying appearance fees or employee wages.
The advertising agency that sued me received a prison sentence 3 years ago for 7 years and 6 months, and he's currently in jail. Considering the various circumstances, it seems like the plaintiff decided to falsely accuse me for financial reasons.
The plaintiff is trying to threaten me with this lawsuit to get me to return the advertising model fee that they paid me, but there's no reason for me to return the fee because I fully carried out the terms of the contract.
As a public figure, I regret causing concern to so many people by being caught up in a disreputable situation. I'm of course taken aback by being sued for false charges, but I'll deal with the matter as smoothly as possible."