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Clara Files Sexual Harassment Suit

BY Julie Jones | Jan 14, 2015 06:03 PM EST

Clara

In December, k-drama fans learned that Polaris Entertainment had filed a suit against their client, the actress Clara, although neither side would say why. It had been less than a year since the actress signed a contract with the agency, which would be in effect until 2018.

Polaris would only say that they had negotiated with Clara several times and had not been able to come to an agreement.

Clara's father, Lee Seung Gyu, a singer with the group Koreana, said that the Polaris claims were unfounded but did not say what they were.

This week, Korean Media Outlet Channel A reported that Clara had filed a sexual harassment suit against an agency identified as P Agency. Her suit claimed sexual harassment. The actress, who was last seen in the comedy "Emergency Couple," said that the agency's chief sexually harassed her and she wanted out of her contract.

The agency responded by accusing her of defamation.

"I felt sexually harassed by the agency president's text messages and more," said Clara.

According to the complaint filed with Seoul Central District Court, he would text her with messages such as "I'm married but I have a girlfriend" and "You are different from other celebrities. You make my heart flutter."

He allegedly asked her to come out drinking at night. He supposedly also asked her about her dating life, wanted to know if she was dating a manager named Mr. Kim. He told her not to get married or she would be unhappy.

"Because of the words and actions of Chief Lee, who is over 60 years old, she felt sexually harassed," said her legal team. "In addition he dismissed Mr. Kim and other managers on his own."

In September she notified the agency that she wanted to cancel her contract. They sued her.

In its defense the agency said that Clara had made wild and libelous accusations against Chief Lee and refused to negotiate about her contract.

Clara is not the first actress to report sexual harassment and abuse. When she appeared on the show "Stong Heart" in 2012 actress Yoo In Na reported being harassed when she was only 17. A few years before actress Jang Ja Yeon committed suicide, leaving a seven-page letter saying that Kim Sung Hoon of her agency sexually assaulted her.

Jang Ja Yeon's death shocked the nation but according to a 2011 Los Angeles Times article, little changed. A 2010 survey conducted by a human rights group found that 60% of South Korean actresses polled said they were pressured to have sex to further their careers. One in five were "forced or requested" by their agents to provide sexual favors, nearly half said they were forced to go out drinking with people important to the agency and a third said they experienced unwanted sexual harassment.

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