Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Rain Faces Provisional Seizure of Property

A building in Southern Seoul, in Cheongdam-dong; (as seen above) owned by K-pop star Rain may be provisionally banned from being disposed of following his loss in a compensation lawsuit in the United States over a concert cancellation.

But Rain's agency, JTune Entertainment, said that any provisional seizure of the building would be impossible according to domestic law.

Last Thursday, a federal court in Hawaii ordered the 26-year-old star and his then-agency, JYP Entertainment, to pay more than $8 million (11 billion won) in compensation to Honolulu-based promoter Click Entertainment. They also have to pay lawyers' fees for Click, with the total compensation reaching $9 million (12 billion won).

The concert, part of his world tour "Rain's Coming", was canceled several days before its scheduled date in June 2007. Click President Lee Seung-su testified that he lost about $1.5 million and suffered damage to his reputation and business due to the cancellation.

After the verdict, Lee said Monday that he will take a step to provisionally seize Rain's and JYP's property, including Rain's building in Cheongdam-dong, which he purchased last year. The price of the building is estimated at over 15 billion won. Lee said he would also seek authorization to attach all earnings that Rain has made with the William Morris Agency, an entertainment company with which Rain signed a contract last year for his U.S. activities.

JTune and Click, however, have different opinions about whether the latter can seize the building.

JTune said Tuesday that even if Click starts a provisional seizure process, the seizure is impossible.

"The seizure of JYT's real estate in the U.S. and here may be possible, but the request to attach Rain's Korean property is impossible according to Korean law. Click may be able to seize Rain's earnings through William Morris", an official of the company said.

Meanwhile, Click said a "provisional" seizure was possible while actual seizure was impossible, saying a Korean court would likely allow the former if the company submits the U.S. court's ruling as evidence.

In the ruling, the federal court ordered Rain and JYP to pay $2.4 million each in punitive damages, $1 million for damages related to fraud and $2.2 million for breach of contract.

Rain's lawyer said they cancelled the concert because a proper stage was not ready and Rain could not use his name in the U.S. due to a copyright challenge from a Beatles tribute band named Rain. The star also testified that he had every intention to perform and he had no hand in the cancellation.

JTune said it is preparing an appeal. It is said that Rain and JYP spent more than 500 million won in fees for five lawyers.


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