Song Hye-kyo: Controversies and Legal Battles

Song Hye-kyo: Controversies and Legal Battles

The Tumultuous Journey of Song Hye-kyo: Controversies and Legal Battles

Acid Attack Threat by Former Manager

In January 2005, Seoul’s Seocho Police Station apprehended a former manager of South Korean actress Song Hye-kyo for attempting to extort 250 million KRW by threatening to attack her with acid. The shock was palpable, especially since the accused was a former trusted employee who had worked closely with Song for three years. This incident prompted her agency to tighten personnel management and ensure such incidents would not reoccur. Following this ordeal, Song transferred to another agency, SidusHQ.

Portrait Rights Dispute with J.ESTINA

Fast forward to 2016, during the airing of the popular drama “Descendants of the Sun,” a dispute arose between Song and the jewelry brand J.ESTINA over the unauthorized use of her images post their contract termination. Despite several warnings from the production company, the brand continued to use her images, leading to a lawsuit. The conflict intensified as J.ESTINA attempted to leverage past controversies to their advantage. The legal battle concluded with J.ESTINA’s defeat, compelling them to pay 150 million KRW in damages, which Song generously donated.

Tax Evasion Accusations

In 2014, Song faced allegations of significant tax evasion. An audit by the Seoul Regional Tax Office revealed that from 2009 to 2012, about 92.3% of her claimed expenses lacked proper documentation, leading to an underreported income and subsequently hefty fines. The situation was compounded when the media exposed further underpayments dating back to 2008, leading to additional penalties. Song publicly apologized, attributing the oversight to ignorance and pledging to settle all dues. The authorities concluded that the discrepancies were due to negligence rather than intentional fraud, hence no criminal charges were pursued. However, her tax consultant faced a year’s suspension for professional negligence.

Ongoing Legal and Public Relations Battles

The legal woes and public scrutiny have led Song to take rigorous steps towards rectifying the tax mishandlings and improving her financial management systems. She has dismissed the negligent accountant and initiated legal actions against the accounting firm responsible for the mishaps.

Community and Social Impact

Throughout these controversies, Song Hye-kyo has maintained her commitment to social responsibility, evident from her decision to donate the damages received from the portrait rights dispute. Despite the setbacks, she has endeavored to uphold her public image and contribute positively to society.


Song Hye-kyo’s journey through these legal battles and controversies underscores the complexities of fame. While she navigated through extortion threats, legal disputes over image rights, and accusations of tax evasion, her proactive measures and contributions to charity highlight her resilience and dedication to both her career and philanthropic efforts. As she continues to resolve these issues, her story serves as a poignant reminder of the challenges faced by public figures and the importance of stringent personal and professional management.


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