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IVE’s Jang Wonyoung wins civil lawsuit against YouTuber Sojang, sets new precedent

This precedent win has definitely sparked positive change within South Korea’s entertainment industry in dealing with defamation.

On January 17, 2024, it was revealed that South Korean personality and IVE member Jang Wonyoung had won her civil lawsuit against the controversial YouTuber Sojang. The news was announced by Wonyoung’s agency Starship Entertainment in a statement detailing the legal proceedings that took place.

Below is the translated statement as translated by Soompi:

“Hello. This is Starship Entertainment.

We want to inform you about the current state of progress regarding the legal action against the infringement of rights of Starship Entertainment’s artists.

Since November 2022, the agency has been carrying out criminal and civil suits as well as an overseas lawsuit against “Sojang” who has been continuously been harassing our artists. Through the continuous circulation of false information, “Sojang” committed grave defamation, and they not only hindered with the agency’s business but also caused serious pain to artists and fans. Thus, the agency is doing our best so that they are held civil and criminal liability through the currently ongoing lawsuit.

The criminal charges filed against “Sojang” were recently forwarded from the police to the prosecution and are awaiting stern judgement from the law. As it is still an ongoing matter, we believe that judicial judgement has yet to be made. Aside from that, there are two civil lawsuits filed against “Sojang.” The civil lawsuit filed by the agency is scheduled to be pleaded with in January, and the [lawsuit] artist Jang Wonyoung herself raised was not responded to by the other party, so the case was won through deemed confession. The agency plans on once again informing [regarding legal matters] through an official statement after all the legal judgements are made.

We are constantly operating a monitoring system to protect the rights of our artists including their reputation, privacy, and their human rights, and we plan to take all possible legal actions without leniency for the current and future cases of defamation or other additional damages caused to the artists.

We ask for fans to continuously send reports as they have been of great assistance in our response to the legal proceedings and legal actions.

Thank you.”

The Seoul Central District Court had sided with IVE’s Jang Wonyoung on December 21, 2023, and ordered Soojang to pay ₩100million (around PHP4,169,667.62) for damages caused to the artist.

“Sojang,” also known as “Park,” operated a controversial YouTube channel named “Taldeok Camp and was infamous for its persistent spreading of numerous false rumors about Jang Wonyoung. These rumors included how she [Wonyoung] forced a supposed 7th member of IVE to leave and how she had been sued by another idol for having a “love affair” with a male celebrity.

It was also revealed consequently that Sojang had apparently paid people to leave malicious comments on Jang Wonyoung’s videos— ₩50 won for short comments and ₩100 won for long comments.

Jang Wonyoung’s win has been celebrated immensely by the K-Pop fan community and was praised greatly by the media for having set a precedent in the South Korean industry.

It is said that her victory in this civil lawsuit against malicious rumors will serve as an example for similar lawsuits in the future.

It’s quite amazing to think how resilient Jang Wonyoung is; for her to survive such a bitter and hostile onslaught of defamation and to then come out victorious in the end. And to think, she’s been receiving this ever since she was just a minor.

Hats off to you, Jang Wonyoung. We’ve never been happier to see an idol hold their haters accountable for their actions.


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