Korean singer-actor Lee Seung Gi to donate over S$5 million in unpaid earnings after dispute with agency


Russell Ang | December 16, 2022, 07:07 PM

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Despite being put in a difficult situation, Korean singer and actor Lee Seung Gi has managed to stay compassionate.

He will donate more than S$5 million of his unpaid earnings to help the needy, after a dispute with his agency.

What happened

According to Soompi, the 35-year-old left his longtime agency, Hook Entertainment, on Dec. 1 after a payment dispute involving digital streams of his songs.

This came after Lee’s legal representation asked the agency on Nov. 24 for a disclosure of payment records and said that the "exact amount" should be made public. They also demanded that Lee should be compensated.

The agency initially responded after a report from Dispatch alleged Lee had not received his digital music payments. Hook said it had gone over all relevant financial details with the singer, and paid him everything he was owed when renewing his exclusive contract in 2021.

Lee's representation released another statement refuting Hook's claims.

Hook CEO Kwon Jin Young then said she would bear responsibility in a statement to the media.

"I will be fully responsible for the dispute regarding Lee Seung Gi. I will not avoid the responsibilities and use my personal funds to resolve the issue," Kwon said.

Plans to continue legal action and donate unpaid earnings

On Dec. 16, Hook Entertainment claimed that the company had paid Lee all of his unpaid earnings, which amounted to 5 billion won (approximately S$5.18 million) in total.

Shortly after, Lee took to Instagram to share his personal thoughts on the situation. In the post, he mentioned his reasons for filing the lawsuit.

"In this situation, the reason why I filed a lawsuit against Hook is not because of the unpaid earnings. Someone’s hard work and sweat should not be misused by someone else’s greed. I thought that fulfilling this mission is the best I can do," Lee wrote.

He said that despite receiving the money, he does not know how the amount was calculated, and alleged that Hook was trying to "unilaterally wrap up this case" by paying the money.

Lee therefore intends to continue to fight the case in court, and pre-emptively apologised to the public for the "fatigue" caused by the court case.

But he pledged to donate whatever amount he ultimately receives to the community:

"What I can promise, however, is that no matter the total amount of unpaid earnings, I will donate it all. Starting with the 5 billion won that was deposited today, excluding the legal aid costs, I will give back the rest to the community. This is not a decision I made in a day. The moment I decided on the fight against Hook, I decided to use all of the money I will receive to help those who are in need.

I have lived until now without knowing of my music profits. Of course, the 5 billion won I received today is such a big and valuable amount of money to me. It contains the sweat of my teens, 20s, and 30s.. However, if this money can be used for those who are more in need than me, the happiness and value I feel will exceed that of just 5 billion won."

You can see his post below:

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by 이승기 Leeseunggi (@leeseunggi.official)

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Top image via leeseunggi.official on Instagram