S.M. Entertainment, one of South Korea's leading talent agencies, said Wednesday it has filed a damage suit with a Hong Kong court against Luhan, a Chinese estranged member of popular K-pop boy band EXO and Hong Kong filmmakers, for his "illegal" appearance in their films.
The 24-year-old singer ceased activities as an EXO member after he filed a lawsuit in Seoul to nullify his exclusive contract with S.M. in October.
He was accused of illegally appearing in Hong Kong films as his management contract with S.M. remains "effective" until the final court decision on the case, the company said.
The Hong Kong filmmakers are responsible for having him appear in their productions without seeking prior consent from his management company, it added.
The lawsuit lodged on Tuesday is the latest in a series of legal actions taken by the South Korean firm in response to the lawsuit filed by the singer.
Last week, the entertainment firm filed a similar suit with a Chinese court against Luhan and Chinese advertisers who they claimed illegally employed him in TV commercials.
"This legal action through a Hong Kong law firm is aimed to keep his illegal entertainment activities and breach of contract from hurting the rights and profits of S.M., EXO and other bona-fide victims," S.M. claimed in a release.
The company has said it will soon take similar legal action against Kris, another Chinese member who also filed a lawsuit to nullify his management contract with S.M.
Debuting in 2012, EXO rose to fame in South Korea and China after its first full-length album titled "XOXO (Kisses & Hugs)" was released a year later. Its repackaged version sold more than 1 million copies in 2013, making EXO the first group to go platinum in 12 years in the South Korean pop music industry.
The band currently has four Chinese and eight Korean members. (Yonhap)