Korean actress was slapped with a 1.16 billion won (US$1.03 million) lawsuit filed by a cosmetics distributor for alleged breach of contract as endorser.
Gold Mark announced on August 29 that it filed the lawsuit with the Seoul Central District Court against the actress, a day before her drama "Hospital Ship" was scheduled to air its first episode on MBC.
In its statement, the company said, "The contents of the lawsuit entail Ha Ji Won's non-fulfillment as the brand's endorsement model and the resulting damage costs at 860,000,000 KRW, plus approximately 300,000,000 KRW in management fees which 'Gold Mark Co., LTD' shouldered while Ha Ji Won promoted under a one-person label, JW Queen (currently Sun and Moon Entertainment)," AllKpop reported.
Gold Mark said under the endorsement contract with Ha Ji Won, she would get 30 percent of company stocks and in exchange, she would allow the company to use her name, image and voice to endorse products.
It said Ha Ji Won broker her promise and suspended all promotions for the company. In addition, she also filed a lawsuit against Gold Mark in July last year to cancel the contract and prevent Gold Mark from using her image.
In her response, Ha Ji Won's agency Sun and Moon Entertainment belied the allegations.
"We're relaying our side concerning Gold Mark's lawsuit against Ha Ji Won. In terms of non-compliance with brand promotions, Gold Mark filed a claim in the past, which was rejected by the court. We have yet to see the content, but we believe the current suit is the same as the previous one," it said.
It added, "Regarding their claim for management fees, Ha Ji Won never had any management or commission contract with Gold Mark, so we cannot understand their claim. In addition, we're deeply regretful this malicious and one-sided media play went out just before her drama. We plan to respond more firmly."