Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Rain sued over gambling debt

Top singer and actor Rain is being sued by a Korean-American businessman based in Los Angeles for over $150,000 the star allegedly borrowed for gambling.
The plaintiff alleged that Rain was a gambling addict and that he had spent a substantial amount of money at VIP rooms at casinos in Las Vegas, even a couple of days ahead of his U.S. tour. He accused Rain of fraud, breach of conduct, embezzlement, and several other charges.
The case was filed with a Los Angeles Court by Andrew Kim, the LA-based businessman who once organized Rain’s U.S. tour. He told a local daily that he has been severely “deceived and manipulated” by the performer.
In the lawsuit document, Kim’s attorneys stated, “Around June 2007, Kim flew Rain to Last Vegas aboard Kim’s personal jet ― the trip cost around $50,000. They stayed at the Bellagio. This is where Rain first revealed to Kim his heavy gambling habit. Kim was stunned to discover that Rain would repeatedly place bets upwards of $10,000.”
The statement said that given such high stakes, Kim was not surprised when Rain informed him that he had ran out of gambling money, and pleaded with Kim to lend him some money to cover his gambling debts and finance further gambling.
“Rain promised Kim that he would repay such funds promptly ― in any event by the time he performed his Los Angeles concert,” it said.
Kim said in the interview with the daily that Rain was a “super star” and that he had no reason to doubt him and agreed to loan him some money.

Attempting to dodge draft?
“He seemed to be under enormous pressure and whenever he was particularly stressed, he asked to take a trip to Las Vegas. He always bet thousands of dollars and on problematic days he would spend $150,000 on baccarat. However, he refused to pay the money back later and even asked, ‘Why should I?’ It is irresponsible of a world famous celebrity. He also let many of us down by indulging in gambling when he should have been concentrating on the concert and his performance,” Kim said.
The file also alleged that the singer was seeking to dodge mandatory military service. Rain, 28, publicly vowed that he would join the army next year after several projects wrapped up. He is currently filming a KBS TV Drama, “The Fugitive: Plan B.”
“Kim arranged and paid for Rain to consult with an immigration attorney so that Rain could obtain a United States green card. Rain was seeking U.S. residency to avoid military service in his native South Korea. He evidently believed that fulfilling his military duty would thwart his fast-rising career,” the file reads.
Kim and Rain started their business liaison several years ago but the relationship turned sour when Rain’s concert at the LA Staples Center was canceled two hours before the scheduled time. They have now turned against each other and are engaged in a separate legal battle over who will take responsibility.

Rain’s attorneys admitted that Rain occasionally visited casinos.
“A casino is more of a comprehensive leisure facility and visiting those places is not illegal. You shouldn’t label a person a gambling addict just because he goes there several times,” lawyer Lee Deok-min of Yoon&Yang said in a press release.
“You can claim anything in the court file but the truth will be revealed in the end. Rain is not a gambling addict and the problems mentioned above are not true: he did not borrow the money. Rain met the lawyers to consult about working visa and it had nothing to do with draft dodging or attaining a green card. We will take legal action against this groundless claims,” he added.

By Bae Ji-sook

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