Lee Seung-gi, Hook Entertainment back in court over wage dispute

Kwon Jin-young, CEO of Hook Entertainment and singer and actor Lee Seung-gi [YONHAP]

It looks like the legal battle between singer and actor Lee Seung-gi and his former agency Hook Entertainment will not be settled any time soon. The two have been in a dispute since Lee filed a lawsuit against the agency for not properly compensating him for his work.

Hook Entertainment claimed in a court hearing on Thursday that Lee should return 900 million won ($690,000) to the agency.

Hook Entertainment had initially claimed in December that it did “not want to continue the dispute with Lee over settlement issues” and paid Lee 5.4 billion won.

After paying Lee, the agency took the case to court to confirm there were no more remaining liabilities by the agency.

However, prior to the first hearing, the agency said it miscalculated the settlement and had overpaid Lee, claiming that he should now pay them back.

Lee’s legal representative, however, claims that Lee should be compensated more with the agency's new calculation.

“Advertising agency commission went down from 10 percent to seven percent, but the company kept this fact hidden and continued to divide the profit after excluding 10 percent as commission fee,” Lee’s representative said, adding that the agency still owes Lee 3 billion won.

Lee started his battle with his former agency last December claiming that the company had failed to pay him according to the earnings he made. Lee has been a popular singer since his debut in 2004, releasing a total of 137 songs over the past 18 years, but it was found that he had not received any payment for the digital streams or downloads of his songs.

The agency admitted failing to pay the singer his earnings, and revealed that it had paid the singer on Dec. 16, stating that the parties had come to an agreement to “end the settlement.”

Lee promised to donate everything he is set to receive from the agency.