Na Young-seok, the producer of “Grandpas over Flowers,” a TV entertainment show remade in the US as “Better Late Than Never,” said he would sue the people behind rumors he was having an affair with actress Jung Yu-mi.
Jung was in the cast of one of Na’s more recent series, “Youn’s Kitchen.” The show was a hit, and a pioneering work that took Korean celebrities overseas to Gili Trawangan Island in Indonesia in season one and a beachside Spanish town of Garachico in season two for them to start overseas Korean restaurant.
On Wednesday, speculations that something deeper than a producer-actress relationship had budded between Na and Jung circulated on mobile messenger apps. Rumors likened the two to movie director Hong Sang-soo and actress Kim Min-hee, who went public with their love affair. Hong is engaged in an ongoing divorce suit with his wife.
Na, after a series of hit programs that raked in fortunes, now enjoys the status of a top producer in Korean entertainment.
Both Na and Jung said Thursday they would take legal action against the rumors with no mercy.
Na is out of the country to do research for his next TV show but sent a note to the press from overseas.
“Everything in that rumor is false, and I plan to take legal action against the person who started it and the malicious online commenters,” Na said.
“As this has my personal honor and the well-being of my family at stake, I will not take the matter lightly.”
According to Na, CJ ENM’s lawyers are collecting evidence and are preparing to file a suit.
“It saddens me, and I have to wonder why and who would produce and spread such ‘fake news’ filled with ill will. I have watched yesterday’s rumors that I let pass with a laugh transform as if they were truth today,” Na said. “I promise everyone that all those accountable will be held legally responsible.”
Soop Management, the agency representing Jung, also issued an official statement on the same day that it would take the matter seriously.
“None of the rumors are true,” Soop said, “Irresponsible dissemination of groundless accusations have damaged our actress’ reputation and injured her greatly. We plan to file our suit today.”
Soop oversees top stars such as Gong Yoo and Gong Hyo-jin.
By Lim Jeong-yeo (email@example.com)