#MeToo misfire threatens to take down superstar Suzy

By Yoon Min-sik
  • Published : Jun 12, 2018 - 14:28
  • Updated : Jun 12, 2018 - 18:25

An unfortunate case of good intentions gone wrong may end up putting Suzy in the defendant’s seat, as a photo studio is pursuing legal action against the Hallyu megastar for wrongfully accusing it of sexual abuse against a YouTube celebrity.

According to Seoul Southern District Court on Monday, Once Picture Studio filed for a lawsuit seeking 100 million won ($93,040) in compensation for damages it suffered after it was falsely accused of sexually abusing YouTuber Yang Ye-won. 

Suzy (JYP Entertainment)

Those accused of the offense were Suzy, the Korean government -- represented by Justice Minister Park Sang-ki -- and two people who initially posted the accusation in an online petition on the Cheong Wa Dae bulletin board. The studio has also filed criminal charges against the two that put up the initial posts for defamation and interference with business, which is punishable by up to five years in prison or a 15 million won in fine.

“By uploading posts including false information, the two people defamed the studio and its owner and obstructed work. Suzy posted about the matter without minimally checking the facts, under the purpose of exercising her influence, resulting in the wide dispersion of the studio’s damage,” lawyer Kim Jae-hyung who represents the studio said.

Suzy has yet to issue a public response to the suit.

The studio, located in the Hapjeong area, western Seoul, was wrongly accused last month of sexually abusing the YouTube star in 2015 in the aforementioned petition that called for a thorough investigation of the case. Yang claimed she was coerced to pose for pornographic photos in front of around 20 men in a photo studio, when she started out her modeling career.

The petition took flight when Suzy, a popular singer and actor here, publicly endorsed the petition.

After it was revealed that the petition named the wrong studio, Suzy became subject to public criticism. She issued a public apology to the studio through social media.

Mapo Police Station is currently investigating Yang’s case, having summoned those related to the actual photo studio involved for questioning on Monday.

By Im Eun-byel and Yoon Min-sik (silverstar@heraldcorp.com)(minsikyoon@heraldcorp.com)