“River Where The Moon Rises” Production Company Urges Ji Soo’s Agency To Pay Damages Amidst Ongoing Lawsuit
In March, Ji Soo was accused of having been a perpetrator of school violence in middle school. Ji Soo apologized and KeyEast Entertainment released a statement about the issue. Ji Soo had been starring in “River Where the Moon Rises,” a 20-episode drama that had aired its fifth episode and was 80 percent produced when the allegations were first made. KBS decided to remove him from the drama and replace him with actor Na In Woo. In April, Victory Contents filed a lawsuit for damages against KeyEast.
On May 26, Victory Contents released another statement to explain the current situation and once again ask KeyEast to pay damages. Read the statement below:
Despite the great difficulty we faced due to the lead actor withdrawing during the drama’s broadcast because of a school violence controversy, “River Where the Moon Rises” successfully finished airing on April 20, 2021 thanks to the efforts of the drama’s cast and production staff.
The first court appearance for the lawsuit for damages we filed against KeyEast at the Seoul Central District Court took place on May 20, 2021. However, KeyEast only sent their legal representatives, and none of the company’s staff or officials attended, showing behavior that is different from what was suggested in their press release, where they stated they would actively work on paying the damages.
Moreover, the brief submitted by KeyEast ahead of the day of the first appearance clearly shows that they are saying one thing and meaning another. KeyEast is claiming, “[Victory Contents] and KBS unilaterally informed us of Ji Soo’s withdrawal without carefully confirming the facts, and therefore we are not responsible for a breach of contract,” and they said about our lawsuit, “It appears that they are taking advantage of Ji Soo’s school violence controversy and trying to gain a monetary profit that exceeds the damages they suffered.” Even though Ji Soo himself has admitted to and apologized for perpetrating school violence after the many testimonies and press interviews released by the victims, KeyEast is making it look like it is not true that Ji Soo was a perpetrator of school violence. By doing so, they are inflicting additional damage on our company as well as the actors, director, writer, and all staff members of the drama and even the victims of school violence.
It seems that KeyEast is actively promoting their new dramas including “Koo Kyung Yi” (literal title), which stars hallyu star Lee Young Ae and has a production cost of 40 billion won (approximately $35.8 million), but they are not paying a single cent for damages related to our company.
In the March 20 episode of MBC’s “True Story Expedition Team,” Ji Soo’s middle school classmates who were victims of school violence perpetrated by him explained the way he bullied them and stated that school violence is a serious crime. At the core of this issue is the fact that Ji Soo has evoked serious public criticism due to school violence, and it is therefore clear that the direct victims of school violence as well as the production team behind “River Where the Moon Rises” are all victims of Ji Soo. As the contracting party of the acting contract, KeyEast will have to take responsibility for the social scandal raised by their actor Ji Soo and the damages for the re-shoots caused by him.
In a petition submitted to the court, 96 staff members who worked on “River Where the Moon Rises” stated they they had to re-film 18 of the 20 episodes of the drama due to Ji Soo’s withdrawal and requested that KeyEast take responsibility.