BLINKs were left reeling last month when it came to light that BLACKPINK’s Lisa was scammed out of a staggering ₩1 billion KRW ($830,000 USD) by a manager she trusted and relied on. But unfortunately, she’s not the only one who suffered such a fate. These 5 Korean celebrities were also betrayed by their managers, facing everything from extortion to outright theft.
1. Song Hye Kyo
These days, actress Song Hye Kyo is a household name in Korea. But 15 years ago, when her career had just started booming thanks to Autumn in My Heart and Full House, she suffered a traumatic incident. The full story was revealed on an episode of Channel A’s Rumor Has It.
Back in 2005, Song Hye Kyo’s mother received an anonymous email with a terrifying demand—pay the sender ₩250 million KRW ($210,000 USD), or she and her daughter would be doused in vats of hydrochloric acid.
The blackmailer told Song’s mother that her daughter’s body would “rot and melt down forever” if she didn’t comply, forcing the pair to move homes and contact the police. No one could have suspected that someone close to the actress would send such a threat, but that’s exactly what happened.
A police investigation soon revealed that the blackmailer in question was none other than Song Hye Kyo’s former manager, whom she’d trusted and even lived with for three years. Song and her mother were devastated to learn he sent the violent threat after struggling financially and becoming homeless.
2. Super Junior
From fansigns to birthdays, it’s common for fans to treat their idols with gifts. To groups like Super Junior, such gifts are a sweet display of love and care. But to the group’s old manager, those gifts just looked like dollar signs.
One day, at some time around 2009, Yesung had to drop out of a Super Junior schedule unexpectedly because he was feeling unwell. After the rest of the members left their apartments, Yesung stayed behind in bed. But he didn’t get to rest, because he soon heard rustling outside.
To Yesung’s shock, when he went outside to find the source of the noise, he found the group’s manager trying to run off with all the gifts fans had given them! The manager was also attempting to steal the member’s own belongings. No one wants their idol to feel unwell, but it’s lucky Yesung had to call in sick that day.
3. Lee Jong Hyuk
Alongside being a great actor, Lee Jong Hyuk is undoubtedly a kind and compassionate man. Unfortunately, it seems his own staff took advantage of that, as Korean media revealed in 2013.
Back in March 2011, Lee Jong Hyuk’s manager (Mr. Choi), hit him with heart-breaking news—Mr. Choi’s mother had recently been diagnosed with cancer. Likely touched by the story, Lee gave his manager ₩5 million KRW ($4,100 USD) to pay for treatments. But unbeknownst to Lee, the whole story was a complete lie.
Mr. Choi proceeded to scam six other stars at Lee Jong Hyuk’s agency out of their hard-earned money by lying about his mother’s health. Eventually, in 2013, the manager was caught and indicted for fraud, revealing he needed the money to repay personal debts.
4. Son Dam Bi
If you watched When The Camellia Blooms last year, you’ll definitely remember Son Dam Bi. If you’ve been in the K-Pop sphere for a long time, you might also know her as a soloist. Back in 2008, while she was promoting as a singer, Son Dam Bi’s manager robbed her for everything she owned—literally.
A few years ago, Son told the crazy story on Knowing Bros. While she was promoting “Crazy”, Son Dam Bi had no time to keep her home affairs in order. So, when she needed a new installation in her house, she naturally trusted her manager to stay home and let the technician in for their appointment.
Son Dam Bi thought nothing of giving her manager her door passcode—after all, she trusted him daily. However, it was then that her manager started plotting his scheme.
One day, while Son was away for a schedule, her manager did the unthinkable—he broke into her house, called a moving service, and stole every single thing she owned with a removal van!
The manager also stole the contents of the company office and went as far as to take Son Dam Bi’s underwear too. Like BLACKPINK’s Lisa, Son suffered the theft because her manager had a gambling addiction. Unfortunately, by the time she caught him, all her belongings had been sold.
5. Jung Joon Ho
Jung Joon Ho shot to fame 20 years ago, but you likely know him from recent hit dramas such as Sky Castle. A few years before the role landed him on every K-Drama fan’s radar, Jung was robbed by his manager—but not just once.
It all happened in 2012 and 2013, around the time Jung Joon Ho was shooting for Return of the Mafia and Your Neighbor’s Wife. Jung left his bank card with his manager during schedules so his manager could run errands for him. But the manager, Mr. Hwang, soon began to abuse this power.
Between August 2012 and August 2013, Mr. Hwang stole money from Jung Joon Ho’s bank account not once, not twice, but 29 times. By the time the manager was caught, the transactions totalled ₩80 million KRW ($65,000 USD). Naturally, Jung fired his manager once the truth came out.