Hallyu star Bae Yong-joon denies fraud accusations

Hallyu star Bae Yong-joon denies fraud accusations
Bae Yong-joon

Actor Bae Yong-joon denied allegations of fraud after he was sued by a local health food supplement firm.

KEYEAST, a local entertainment company of which the hallyu star is the majority shareholder, released an official statement Tuesday, flatly denying the accusations.

"Koje is using Bae's fame to make a social issue out of its preposterous claims," the statement read. "Every action will be taken to respond firmly to the false accusations."

Koje, a health food company, signed a contract in 2009 to sell red ginseng in Japan on behalf of Gorilla Life Way Co., a restaurant business owned by Bae. However, the agreement broke down the following year. The food company argued it gave Bae's company 2.2 billion won ($2.1 million) for the sales rights, but the money was not used to carry out market research as was outlined in the contract.

The company last year brought the matter to court, filing a suit against Gorilla Life Way, but the court rejected the claim. It has now sued Bae, claiming that the actor's deceptive action has caused it to lose huge sums of money.

The prosecutors' office said no plan has been set to summon Bae for questioning.

Bae starred in such TV dramas as "Winter Sonata," which played a role in fueling the Korean Wave, or hallyu, across much of Asia. He is now one of the wealthiest hallyu stars in Korea, owning equity stakes in various businesses.

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