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Clara Reportedly Charged With Blackmail

BY Julie Jones | Mar 17, 2015 11:24 AM EDT

Clara Lee

According to the Korean news publication Chosun Ilbo, the police have officially charged singer and "Emergency Couple" actress Clara with blackmail.

On March 16 the police reported that Clara and her father are charged with blackmailing her former agency Polaris Entertainment by falsely claiming sexual harassment.

The feud between Clara and her agency started more than six months earlier.

In September 2014, Clara charged the president of Polaris Entertainment, Lee Gyu Tae, with sexual harassment. She alleged that he repeatedly engaged in suggestive conversations that made her feel uncomfortable. Because she felt so uncomfortable, she said she could no longer work with the agency and she wanted to cancel her contract.

"I felt sexually harassed by the agency president's text messages and more," said Clara to the Korean media outlet Channel A.

Polaris refused to cancel her contract. In December 2014 Polaris sued her for defamation. The agency claimed that Clara and her father were making slanderous false allegations in order to get out of her contract. The agency denied any harassment and also alleged that the actress repeatedly breached her contract.

"When she came to us asking for a contract release and we did not comply, she threatened us, accusing us of sexual harassment," said the Polaris legal team in January 2015. "She even sued us. When we filed for a criminal prosecution, she also retaliated with a civil suit."

The police issued an arrest warrant for Clara after concluding that there was no evidence to support her claims. After reading the texts exchanged between Clara and the Polaris Entertainment president, the police determined that they were business conversations and nothing more. Her charges were interpreted as an attempt at blackmail.

But the twist in the plot is that the president of Polaris Entertainment was also arrested. Only he awaits trial on another charge.

Five days before Clara and her father were charged, the Korean government officials raided the offices of Ilkwang Group, which has Polaris Entertainment as a subsidiary. Lee Gyu Tae is president of both Ilkwang Group and Polaris Entertainment.

According to the Korean Observer, Lee Gyu Tae was arrested during the raid of his home and office. He was charged on suspicion of falsifying his company's books and is suspected of defrauding the government by providing sub-standard military equipment. Lee was previously arrested in 2009 in an arms dealing case.

It has been reported that Polaris Entertainment is now closed and that the company's internal documents were confiscated.

Both Clara and the man she has charged with harassment could wind up in jail.

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