On July 9, the 52-year-old Kim Gwang Seob, former manager of Shin Hyun Joon and former director of HJ Film, gave an interview with Sports Today. In the interview, Kim Gwang Seob said that he had been mistreated by Shin Hyun Joon for 13 years, to the point that he had thought about ending his life.
According to Sports Today’s report, Kim Gwang Seob and Shin Hyun Joon started off as friends. At the actor’s request, he began working as his manager in 1995. For the first two years, he received a monthly salary of 600,000 won (about $500). This was not enough to make a living, but Kim accepted it with the belief that a manager must make sacrifices for their artist. Afterwards, the monthly salary was raised to 1 million won (about $840), but this only lasted for six months. Instead, he was offered a tenth of the earnings if he brought in offers for productions or commercials. However, this promise was not kept either.
Kim said, “In the late 1990s, I helped bring about several commercials for apparel and cell phones to the tune of 200 to 300 million won (about $170,000 to $250,000). In return, I only received about 2 million won (about $1600).” He explained that because there was no formal contract, he had not been able to seriously protest.
Kim further stated that he had helped bring about casting offers for the films “The Soul Guardians,” “Bichunmoo,” “Siren,” “Guns & Talks,” and “Barefoot Ki-bong” and the dramas “Bridal Mask,” “Dummy Mommy,” and “Ohlala Couple,” as well as the MC offers for Channel A’s “Heard It Through the Grapevine” and KBS’s “Entertainment Weekly.” However, he did not receive proper compensation for his efforts.
Kim said, “During the time we worked together, we had no formal contract. I asked for a contract, but he did not listen to me. For a long time, I had no monthly salary, and the promise of a tenth of the earnings did not materialize either. While working with Shin Hyun Joon, I did not even make 100 million won in total (about $84,000).”
The former manager claimed that the actor preferred to work on films and would talk to him rudely, demanding that he bring in offers for movies. He said, “I can completely understand an actor having strong feelings about his work, but it was hard when he would get irritated and curse me out and put pressure on me.”
Kim further claimed that Shin Hyun Joon had frequently found fault with his other managers and that he had cycled through 20 managers within 7-8 years. Kim said that once a manager wore a mask to cover up a cold and that Shin Hyun Joon had told Kim to get him to take it off and said, “Is it a disease of incompetence?”
Kim also alleged that he had been forced to take care of Shin Hyun Joon’s mother as well. He said that she had made him take her to church, pick her up and drop her off on other occasions, wash her car, shop for groceries, and go to the bank to pick up free samples. He told this to Shin Hyun Joon, who responded with irritation, “Can’t you do at least that much?”
Kim stated, “I lost the will to live. I am confessing this now to recover my good name. I do not want anyone else to become a victim like me.”
Lee Gwan Yong, the current director of HJ Film, Shin Hyun Joon’s agency, issued an initial response to this report. Lee said, “I am taken aback. It is all lies. It has been a long time since Kim quit working here. I don’t know why he is being like this. We are preparing an official statement in response and will take strong measures to respond to this.”
Later on July 9, Shin Hyun Joon released an official response via HJ Film. The statement reads:
[Shin Hyun Joon’s words] I have received a great shock. When two people work together for many years, is it possible to not have any conflict or disappointments? But if one of those people suddenly labels the stories of those years under the name “exposure,” that could be a different form of violence.
While I also experienced hardships and disappointments during the 13 years we worked together, I will not expose any specific incidents or problems under the label of “rebuttal.” If there were unresolved questions or complaints, we could have met and talked about the issue, so this is unfortunate.
Before Kim was my manager, he was a same-aged friend that I had known since I was twenty years old. How often do male friends get along without formalities? It was natural for me to use rough language in speaking with him, and he did the same with me.
[In response to Kim’s claim that he was forced to work for his mother] Because he and I were friends, we also met each other’s mothers often. I also helped Kim’s family members when they were sick. It was not a simple manager-actor relationship, but one in which we helped each other with our families.
[HJ Film] It has already been 6-7 years since Kim stopped working as Shin Hyun Joon’s manager. In the 13 years that they worked together, he would often quit and come back. After he quit for good, he changed his phone number so that Shin Hyun Joon could not contact him, even though Shin Hyun Joon asked around for his contact information.
Another report has claimed that Shin Hyun Joon had over 20 managers. This is not true. His current stylist, makeup artist, and other staff members have been close colleagues for over 10 years.
We apologize for causing many people concern through this situation. We will be more careful in future.
Shin Hyun Joon is currently scheduled to appear with his son on the upcoming broadcast of KBS’s “The Return of Superman.” A source from the show stated, “We are in the process of checking the situation regarding Shin Hyun Joon. We will release a statement about his upcoming appearance after we have confirmed.”
Source: Naver (1, 2, 3) via Soompi, @soompi