Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Yoo Jae Suk And Kim Yong Man In Legal Battle Against Former Agency
On January 22, a source in legal circles stated that the Supreme Court of South Korea reversed a case involving Yoo Jae Suk and Kim Yong Man against their former agency STOM E&F back to the Seoul High Court.
In March 2005, Yoo Jae Suk and Kim Yong Man respectively signed exclusive contracts with STOM E&F. The term of their contracts was 5 years, from March 2006 to March 2011. Afterwards, Yoo Jae Suk and Kim Yong Man appeared in various TV shows on KBS, MBC, and SBS, each resulting in outstanding payments of 609 million won (approximately $538,252) and 96 million won (approximately $85,527).
However, STOM E&F went into financial troubles in 2010, and the company’s bonds were seized provisionally. Both Yoo Jae Suk and Kim Yong Man terminated their contracts with STOM E&F in October 2010 and requested that the networks pay them directly for their appearances in variety shows.
In response, the networks decided to deposit the payment to the court, since it was unclear who the creditors of STOM E&F were.
Yoo Jae Suk and Kim Yong Man then filed lawsuits to receive their payments. However, the original trial ruled against the celebrities. The court stated, “The contracts Yoo Jae Suk and Kim Yong Man signed with STOM E&F show that all income is to be received by the agency.”
However, the Supreme Court of South Korea stated otherwise. They said, “When celebrities sign to appear on variety shows, it’s not their agencies, but the celebrities who have to sign contracts. They have the rights to directly claim their payments.”
They continued, “For celebrities such as Yoo Jae Suk, whose popularity shows that no one else can appear on variety shows in replacement of him, a third party cannot decide their appearances on their behalf.”
In conclusion, The Supreme Court of South Korea asked that the Seoul High Court reconsider the case.
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