Seo Yea-ji's agency to refund company for advertising deal gone wrong

Actor Seo Yea-ji [SCREEN CAPTURE]

Actor Seo Yea-ji's agency Gold Medalist will have to return half of the payment it received from its previous advertiser, Yuhan Care, after being embroiled in claims that she was mentally abusive in her previous relationship with actor Kim Jung-hyun in 2018, according to a JoongAng Ilbo exclusive Thursday.

Seo was featured in an advertisement for health and lifestyle brand Yuhan Care's supplements back in August 2020. The following year, however, her advertisements were taken down after a series of allegations which subsequently took a blow at Seo's acting career.

After allegations were raised against the actor, Yuhan Care sent a contract termination statement to Gold Medalist, demanding a full refund of the modeling fees it had paid prior to the advertisement release.

Seo was first accused in April 2021 of manipulative behavior in 2018 toward her boyfriend at the time, fellow actor Kim Jung-hyun. At the time, it was reported that she told Kim to have zero contact with other female cast members. More allegations arose of Seo being involved in school bullying and falsifying academic records.

Yuhan Care took legal action against Seo and her agency in the same month as the accusation, saying Seo had ruined her public image, which harmed the advertiser's image and reduced the advertising effect during the contract period.

The Seoul Central District Court ruled Friday in favor of Yuhan Care, calling for Gold Medalist to return 225 million won ($173,000) to the supplement company, which is half of its original 450-million-won payment.

The court determined that Yuhan Care’s contract termination was legitimate, as Seo’s public image had been damaged. It also made the decision following the contract's clause that the agency should return half of the model payment in the case of an ad ceasing.

The court, however, rejected Yuhan Care’s compensation request for damage and contract violation of 1.275 billion won.

“The allegation regarding school bullying and her controlling behavior during her previous relationship all occurred before the contract period,” the court cited as the reason for rejecting Yuhan Care’s claim.

The court added that Seo was not obligated to reveal her past school bullying allegations during the contract signing process, as it would have been a violation of basic human rights.

Seo debuted in 2013, playing in tvN’s sitcom "Potato Star 2013QR3" (2013-14). She played in numerous roles but made her name known by starring in tvN’s romantic comedy “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay” (2020). However, Seo’s acting career came to a halt due to numerous allegations about her past behavior. Seo returned to the screen starring in tvN’s TV series “Eve” in 2022.

To find out more about Seo Yea-ji, visit Celeb Confirmed!