Son Dam Bi And Jung Ryeo Won’s Agency Denies The Actresses Were Involved In A Fraud Scandal
Son Dam Bi and Jung Ryeo Won’s agency has denied their involvement in a fraud scandal.
On August 28, H& Entertainment released a statement clarifying reports that the actresses had received gifts from a man who was arrested on charges of fraud.
Recently, a man identified as “Mr. Kim” pretended to be a wealthy man from Guryongpo (a town in Pohang, North Gyeongsang Province) who had received an inheritance of 100 billion won (about $86 million). He lived a flashy lifestyle by showing off multiple expensive cars and boats and luxurious pool villas and pensions.
In April, he was arrested on charges of fraud, joint intimidation, and joint blackmail. He is accused of having pocketed major advance investments that he pretended were for a squid sales business between June 2018 and January 2021. The total amount that he defrauded is 11.6 billion won (about $10 million), and his victims include the brother of a former National Assembly member, a well-known journalist, and a private lecturer in Seoul. In particular, it is said that the brother of the former National Assembly member was defrauded of 8.6 billion won (about $7.4 million).
Among other things, Mr. Kim is also accused of lobbying various influential figures by gifting them seafood products, luxury goods, golf clubs, cars, and other things. In addition to Mr. Kim, eight suspects have been arrested on the charge of violating the Anti-Graft Act.
Media outlets reported that in 2019, Son Dam Bi’s manager was recruited as one of Mr. Kim’s company employees, and Mr. Kim gifted the actress with an expensive car and luxury clothing and purses through this connection. It was also claimed that Mr. Kim and Son Dam Bi had had a relationship and that Mr. Kim had paid the 50 million won (about $43,000) that Son Dam Bi had borrowed from Jung Ryeo Won. It was also said that when Son Dam Bi introduced him to Jung Ryeo Won, Jung Ryeo Won had received a car from him. According to the reports, when this was revealed, Mr. Kim and Son Dam Bi’s relationship ended and she returned the expensive gifts that he had given her.
Their agency statement reads:
Hello, this is H& Entertainment.
We are deeply apologetic for causing concern with this unfavorable news during a time that is difficult for everyone. As an agency, we will take direct action when it comes to false reports about our artists Son Dam Bi and Jung Ryeo Won.
First, when she was in Pohang in 2019, Son Dam Bi was approached by Kim Tae Woo, a seafood businessman, who claimed to be a fan of hers. He gifted her with drinks and snacks. Later, Mr. Kim also attempted to give her expensive presents without her consent, and she immediately returned all the gifts and cash that he had given her.
We clearly state that Son Dam Bi has no connection to that businessman’s fraud scandal.
Second, it is not true that Jung Ryeo Won received a car as a gift from Mr. Kim.
Jung Ryeo Won’s car was purchased from a secondhand dealer and is not a gift from Mr. Kim. At a location where multiple other people were present, Mr. Kim first approached her by saying that he knew someone who worked in the auto industry. At the time, Jung Ryeo Won was looking into secondhand dealers to replace her car, and she asked Mr. Kim if he could find her the model that she was interested in. Mr. Kim said that his younger sibling owned a secondhand dealership and promised to get her the model she wanted. Through Mr. Kim’s introduction, Jung Ryeo Won obtained her car through a secondhand dealership. She received the car after depositing the proper payment into Mr. Kim’s account, and there are clear receipts for this.
Furthermore, it is not true that Jung Ryeo Won spent time with Mr. Kim at her house alone. Mr. Kim asked to consult with her on something and made an appointment to speak with her and her close friend.
Jung Ryeo Won and Son Dam Bi have suffered severe damage from the circulation and reproduction of false reports.
As an agency, we will take steps to protect our artists from harm and make sure people face civil and criminal liability for spreading false reports and malicious comments online.