Jul 18, 2006
Actor Lee Byung-heon has recently fallen victim to malicious rumors about Korean stars in Japan. The popular Japanese weekly for women Josei Seven wrote on June 21 that Lee was secretly dating a Japanese woman and traveling with her from Seoul to Taiwan.
In the article entitled "Another Summer Story," named after the movie "Summer Story" which Lee is currently filming, the magazine wrote that the actor met his "girlfriend," a 30-year-old former flight attendant, months ago at a party in Tokyo and that the woman was slender and had long hair. The magazine added that since meeting her, Lee has refused to have blind dates with other women.
In response, Lee’s agency, Fantom Entertainment, dismissed the article on July 18 as completely groundless and vowed legal action against the magazine.
The agency added that the article’s description of Lee’s dating was "astounding" and that it would have ignored it altogether had it not been for numerous inquires from Japan asking if the rumor was true.
The agency’s CEO, Song Wan-mo, said that the Japanese media have been publishing many malicious articles about South Korean stars recently, and that he will not condone the incident involving Lee in order to send a strong warning message to Japanese journalists.
Regarding the negative attitude in Japan toward Korean celebrities recently, Song said Korean actors and singers need to take stern measures against "evil acts" in Japan and manage their reputation thoroughly to ensure sustained popularity in the neighboring country.