In a ruling on March 20, the Korean Department of Justice has determined that singer Megan Lee‘s exclusive contract with Soul Shop Entertainment is not valid.
Last November, Megan Lee filed a request with the Seoul Central District Court for an injunction on her exclusive contract with the agency. Her representative stated at the time that Soul Shop had signed her to a musical without her consent, and also used her bank seal without her permission. They also claimed that Megan Lee had been treated unfairly and verbally abused by management at the agency, including owner Kim Tae Woo‘s wife Kim Ae Ri.
The judge has now ruled in Megan Lee’s favor, proclaiming that Soul Shop is not legally authorized to arrange or finalize contracts for Megan Lee for television shows, films, or musicals. Megan Lee is also not required to do any activities requested by the company.
The judge announced, “This exclusive contract is an excessive invasion of occupational freedom, as well as personal rights and autonomy. It therefore would be difficult to acknowledge its validity.”
In response, Soul Shop Entertainment has announced that they will be appealing this ruling. A representative states, “Two of the reasons were that the exclusive contract stipulated a five-year term and also split the profits fifty-fifty. This shows that the court does not understand how the entertainment industry operates.” They say they are prepared to take the case all the way to the Supreme Court. They have also filed a civil suit against Megan Lee in order to prohibit her from engaging in any activities in the entertainment industry.
In an interview with Ilgan Sports, Megan Lee’s mother says, “It’s been really difficult. We won the lawsuit, but there were still a few things to do. Everything was chaotic because of the things we had to deal with right after. Thank you to everyone who supported us during this time.”
This is all happening at the same time as Megan Lee is getting ready to appear in a new musical series on the American television network Nickelodeon, which is slated to premiere during its 2015-2016 season.