Korean singer and actor Rain has denied charges of failing to pay back money he borrowed from a Korean-American for gambling in the United States three years ago.
The response came just hours after Korean sports daily Sports Seoul broke news yesterday that IT entrepreneur and concert promoter Andrew Kim had sued the 28-year-old superstar for not repaying him 150 thousand dollars he used to cover his gambling debt and finance further gambling at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas in June 2007.
“There was no form of financial transaction whatsoever between Rain (and Kim),” Rain’s legal representative Yoon & Yang LLC said in a statement issued through his agency J.Tune Entertainment.
Kim had dealt on financial terms only with Star M, holder of the rights to Rain’s 2007 world tour, while Kim himself said there is no document to prove that Rain borrowed money, Yoon & Yang further stated.
While Kim had admitted in the news report that he does not have a promissory note to back his argument, he said it was because “he is not someone without money, he is a star” and the two “were friends as well as business partners,” as also mentioned in the suit he has filed to court.
The suit also said Rain has a “heavy gambling habit” which showed in how he “repeatedly placed bets upwards of $10,000” and Kim then told Sports Seoul that Rain visited casinos in Las Vegas up to four times in 2007, including a week immediately before his LA concert in June.
Yoon & Yang rebutted this accusation as well, explaining that Rain did visit Las Vegas before his June 30 concert to meet with acquaintances and attend his own birthday party they prepared for him but he dropped by the party only briefly because that is when a suit over his cancelled Hawaii show emerged.
In addition to the gambling claims, Kim accused Rain of trying to avoid serving Korea’s two-year mandatory military service by obtaining a green card in the U.S. “Kim arranged and paid for Rain to consult with an immigration attorney…” the suit said.
However, Yoon & Yang shrugged off Kim’s allegation as “intolerable slander” and instead affirmed it was to discuss on his working visa in the U.S., compulsory for the actor to expand his career to the country.
“It is common sense that he would not sell off the reputation he has worked so hard to build up on over the past ten years by avoiding military service,” the statement read.
Rain had received a notice to enter the military this year but the Military Manpower Administration (MMA) granted the date to be deferred till next year for reasons relating to his singing and acting career.
“This is no more than a fraudulent lawsuit through which Andrew Kim is marring Rain’s status by abusing his celebrity status and attempting to gain advantage in his suit over the cancellation of the LA show,” the statement ended by saying.
Rain’s LA show had failed to take place over several conflicts between Rain’s agency and Kim’s company which resulted in a lawsuit filed against the star, but a court had deemed Rain does not hold any responsibility for the cancellation.
Rain, whose real name is Jung Ji-hoon, has been considered one of the most successful Korean stars in the entertainment business throughout Asia since his debut in 2002.
Jessica Kim jesskim@
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