In June 2018, Suzy was sued by the photography studio that was wrongfully accused in YouTuber Yang Ye Won‘s sexual assault case. When Suzy shared an Instagram story of herself supporting the petition that listed the name of this unaffiliated photography studio, the internet blew up and ultimately impacted the studio’s reputation.
Since then the lawsuit had been ongoing. While Suzy reached out to the studio to apologize for the misunderstanding, she did not want to compensate the studio. Suzy’s attorney argued that if she “offers financial compensation, it may become a precedent that limits the freedom of expression for celebrities and therefore, it is that much more difficult… It is difficult to accept the claims of the plaintiff, which suggest that celebrities are responsible for knowing all the facts before each and every action just because they are celebrities.”
On June 13, 2019, however, the court has ruled in favor of the studio. Judge Ban Hyo Rim of Seoul Southern District Court sentenced Suzy to compensate 20,000,000 KRW (approximately $17,000 USD) to the wrongfully accused photo studio for its losses.
The studio had also sued the Minister of Justice of South Korea for not deleting the petition immediately when the content was revealed to contain its name. The court dismissed this particular lawsuit against the government.
Neither Suzy nor her agency has yet responded to the result of this lawsuit. The studio’s CEO commented, however, that he wants this case to become a good example of how stars should be careful of what they say.
The amount isn’t important. What’s important is that everyone fact checks before talking about what they want to talk about. Regardless, my studio has suffered a tremendous damage in its reputation already. I want this case to serve as a good example.
— Mr. Lee of Once Picture
Meanwhile, the actual Yang Ye Won’s sexual assault case found justice earlier this year. The CEO of the studio that assaulted Yang Ye Won was sentenced to 30 months in prison.