Rain Ordered to Pay $8 MillionMarch 20, 2009 at 11:22 am | Posted in Stars | 7 Comments
K-pop singer Rain and his managers were ordered to pay more than $8 million to Hawaii promoters for canceling a 2007 concert in Honolulu, the Associated Press reported, Thursday.
An American federal jury said the 26-year-old star, his agency at the time JYP Entertainment and two South Korean promotion companies breached a contract to perform, and defrauded Click Entertainment. Nearly $5 million was called for in punitive damages, with Rain and JYP each ordered to pay $2.4 million. An additional $1 million was awarded for damages related to the fraud and $2,286,000 was called for breach of contract. This amounts to about 11.27 billion won.
“We’re obviously very disappointed with the jury’s decision in this matter,” Rain’s lead lawyer, Jon Crocker, was quoted as saying. “We maintain our position that both JYP and Rain fulfilled all their obligations with regard to the Hawaii performance. We will continue to vigorously defend them, wherever these promoters bring these baseless lawsuits.”
Rain’s concert was canceled a few days before the scheduled June 15, 2007, event at Aloha Stadium. It was supposed to be the first stop of the “Rain’s Coming” United States tour, and fans paid as much as $300 for a single ticket and flew to Honolulu from as far away as Japan.
Click President Lee Seung-su testified that he lost nearly $1.5 million due to the cancellation, which also damaged his business reputation. He argued that Rain and his traveling entourage of 90 people never intended to perform in Hawaii, saying the crew never applied for proper visas or shipped their equipment.
Rain, whose proper name is Jung Ji-hoon, testified for 90 minutes. He said he had every intention of performing and that he had no hand in the cancellation.
Crocker argued the contract Lee had was not with Rain or JYP. It was with a company named Revolution Entertainment, owners with the North American rights to Rain’s concerts, he said. The lawyer also said a proper stage wasn’t created for the star in addition to Rain being unable to use his name in the U.S. because of a copyright challenge from a Beatles tribute band named Rain.
The jury reached the verdict on Thursday after deliberating for more than a day.
“I didn’t know the verdict would be reached this quickly,” said Cho Dong-won, CEO of Rain’s current agency JTune Entertainment, according to Yonhap News. “We did not expect this result and will take legal action after discussing it with our lawyers,” he said.
Jeong Wook from JYP Entertainment also expressed great surprise. “We were sure that we were going to win, so we’re very shocked. We thought the trial was going to take a few days and our staff members are already flying back. We will be discussing ways to appeal against the decision and take other legal measures,” he said.
The judgment is expected to set off other lawsuits in the U.S., with a similar case recently filed in Los Angeles as Rain’s Staples Center concert was called off a couple of hours before show time.
The 26-year-old singer is widely known as “the Justin Timberlake of Asia.” In addition to his dance music, he gained popularity for his roles in “Full House” and other Korean TV soaps. In 2006, Time magazine named him one of the “100 most influential people in the world,” and nominated him again this year for the online vote.
He made his Hollywood debut last year in the Wachowski brothers’ film “Speed Racer” and will appear in a leading role in the upcoming action film “Ninja Assassin,” co-produced by the brothers and directed by James McTeigue.
Source: Korea Times