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Musical Company Exec Attacked Actor With Hammer: Police

Posted September. 17, 2010 21:52,   


Police said Thursday that a famous musical actor was attacked last month with an iron hammer by an executive of a performing arts organizing agency in Seoul`s southern Gangnam district.

The 40-year-old executive allegedly hit the actor, 36, in the neck and other body parts with the hammer at the lobby of the fifth floor of COEX Atrium at 2:40 p.m. Aug. 22.

The executive is in charge of financing for Nine Culture, the producer of the Korean version of the musical "A Chorus Line." The actor starred in the musical from June 27 to Aug. 22.

"A Chorus Line" has enjoyed high popularity because of a number of high-profile celebrities in the cast, including Lee Ju-no, a former member of the hip-hop and pop music pioneering group Seo Taeji and Boys.

Behind the glaring musical was an intense dispute over pay. According to police, the actor clashed with the executive, claiming he was owed 2.25 million won (1,900 U.S. dollars) in back pay. After hearing the demand, the executive sent a text message to the actor on the eve of the incident asking him to come to the theater lobby by 3 p.m. the next day, and promised to pay the money in cash.

Hardly a minute passed before violence erupted between the two men at a table in front of the theater. The executive pulled out a hammer in lieu of cash from an envelope and struck the actor in the neck and right shoulder before kicking him. The actor collapsed and suffered severe injuries, needing four weeks of hospitalization.

The attack was captured by a surveillance camera installed in front of the performing hall, but the actor, not police, secured the footage as evidence. Footage from the five cameras police secured from COEX missed the incident since it occurred at a blind spot.

The actor said, "I asked police to check the footage again after they said they found no footage of violence in their first probe," adding, "After (the executive) filed a counter lawsuit against me Sept. 7, I found it unfair and personally went to the performance hall myself, secured the video footage, and submitted it to police."

A police source said, "After being asked by the actor, we went to the scene again and secured captured images recorded by another security camera," adding, "Since the executive has already confessed to his crime and the actor is found to have suffered injuries, the acquisition of the footage will have no significant impact on the results of our probe."

The executive told police, "Since the actor insulted me by asking for payment in front of many people, I couldn`t help getting violent out of anger." He faces charges of assault and battery with a deadly weapon.