Rookie Talent Agent Knows It All

Chapter 116 Winter After Spring? (5)



Chapter 116 Winter After Spring? (5)

"Do you know what audio splicing is?"

-Huh? Audio splicing?

In five years, Cheon Yi-Sang would use this method to bring down a top star named Lee Ye-Sol with whom he had a conflict. It was to reprimand her for not renewing the contract with the company and immediately trying to sign with another company as an independent artist.

Of course, the situation back then was far more serious because the audio file released had contained sensational content that suggested Lee Ye-Sol was doing drugs and mingling inappropriately with men.

To make things worse, Cheon Yi-Sang had bribed her talent agent to further testify that he had directly witnessed Lee Ye-Sol's crimes. As a result, Lee Ye-Sol, whose image had hit rock bottom, had no choice but to retire from the entertainment industry.

It wasn't until three years later that it became known in the industry that Cheon Yi-Sang had fabricated the recording via audio splicing.

Fortunately, I knew what Cheon Yi-Sang was capable of doing and the content of the audio splicing wasn't as serious as it was then.

My only regret was that I didn't know the identity of the technician who worked on the audio splicing. If I had known his identity, I would have exposed him along with the evidence. For this reason, I had to resolve the issue in a completely different way.

'An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.'

I took a deep breath and reassured Yoo-Jin once again.

"Don't worry, I'll take care of it. Oh, and since the reporters will be a nuisance, turn off your phone for today and tomorrow when there are no shoots. I'll keep in touch with you through Miso's phone."

-Okay, oppa. I'll do as you say. I trust you with everything.

I couldn't help but feel a lump in my throat when I felt Yoo-Jin's trust in me through her brief response.

After hanging up the call with Yoo-Jin, I turned off my phone and returned to the office. The scene was chaotic and reminiscent of a battlefield as the talent agents of Actor Division 2 and the Publicity Division's staff were busy answering calls.

"Mr. Gu, Weekly Stars is asking if the articles are true. What should we say?"

"Say it's all fabricated and manipulated! There's no way Yoo-Jin would hang out with such a bastard!"

"Sir, Baro Stars is asking us to confirm the sources they have!"

"Damn it, sources? What sources! Tell them to check their sauces at a tasting corner!"

"This is getting out of control, Mr. Gu. All the calls from entertainment newspapers are swarming in!"

"This won't do! Hey! Everyone, turn off your phones and unplug the lines!"

Gu Seong-Cheol broke out in a cold sweat as he turned off his phone. He was drained from dealing with all the entertainment newspapers publishing articles at once.

Cheon Yi-Sang was using a strategy of overwhelming his opponents with a flood of articles backed by a huge amount of money. No matter how hard Hoop Entertainment tried to take down the articles and make a response, they were powerless against the overwhelming flood.

The phone in Sung Min-Suk's hand was vibrating nonstop.

"I'll do my best to block the articles for now, so please think of a way in Actor Division 2 as well," said Sung Min-Suk.

"I'm sorry, Team Lead Sung."

"Don't mention it, Mr. Gu."

As Sung Min-Suk was leaving the conference room, he noticed I had been standing there.

"Oh, Assistant Manager Jung. How's Yoo-Jin doing?"

"I told her to turn off her phone. And Yoo-Jin's landlord is taking good care of her, so you don't have to worry too much."

"Is that so? That's a relief."

Sung Min-Suk sighed in relief. But then he tilted his head with a puzzled expression and asked, "But why do you look so calm? Do you have a plan or something?"

"Of course I do."

At that moment all eyes in the conference room were fixed on me.

"First of all, that audio recording is completely fabricated."

"What? That recording file is fabricated? But it sounded so seamless."

Oh Duk-Gu, who was standing next to me, chimed in. "Yoo-Jin never said such things at the filming site. The audio recordings were made by splicing her lines from the shoot with her everyday conversations recorded without her knowledge. And of course, the kissing photos are fake. There were many staff members at the site who witnessed the filming scenes."

Gu Seong-Cheol's expression visibly brightened. "Is that so? Then we should at least get statements from the staff."

Ju Yung-Hoon quickly responded. "Mr. Gu, the first audio recording was uploaded by Entertainment Specials. How about we request them to submit the original audio recording files?"

"Okay. Contact the analysis company as soon as we receive the recording. And ask the legal division to do the necessary preparations in the event they don't hand over the files."

A glimmer of hope began to circulate in the meeting room. But this alone was not enough. Considering the time it would take to reveal the truth, Yoo-Jin's image could be tarnished faster than we could clarify the fake news.

That's when the conference room door burst open and Kang Ji-Yung rushed in. Her disheveled hair suggested she had run up the emergency stairs.

"I heard that Speedy Entertainment News is about to release an interview with someone from the shooting site. Have you heard anything about that?"

'Did Cheon Yi-Sang already bribe someone from the filming site?'

He was indeed a formidable opponent.

Ju Yung-Hoon hurriedly replied to Kang Ji-Yung's question, "Ms. Kang, that audio file had been manipulated!"

"I-is that so?"

"Yes. Yoo-Jin never said those things on site, and the kissing photos with Choi Jong-Hyuk are all fake," I added.

Kang Ji-Yung looked relieved after hearing my response. "That's what I thought. There's no way Miss Yoo-Jin would do such a thing..."

Kang Ji-Yung slumped into a chair and let out a deep sigh.

'But even Kang Ji-Yung believed the manipulated files to be real...'

Kang Ji-Yung inquired about the strategy. "What kind of measures have we prepared? It seems all we can do is announce that we will sue for spreading false information."

The false testimony of a site associate, the photos, the audio recording files, and the ambiguous stance of Choi Jong-Hyuk and TK Entertainment were more than enough to convince the public that Choi Jong-Hyuk and Jung Yoo-Jin were dating.

Once rumors like these took root, they were hard to reverse.

Gu Seong-Cheol asked me, "Do you have a plan? What exactly are you going to do?"

With Gu Seong-Cheol's urging, all eyes turned to me.

"Please ensure that what I am about to say does not leak outside this room," I replied in a serious tone.

The information I was about to share was a secret known to only a very few. I planned to retaliate against Cheon Yi-Sang's reckless attack and make him pay several times over.

***

[Everyday V10]

[Date: March 15th, 2022]

-8:00 PM MBS Morning Today! featuring Choi Ji-Yung. Ratings 18.5%. Monitoring.

Two years from now, the once-renowned actress Choi Ji-Yung would reveal the untold story behind her divorce on MBS' Morning Today!, a show popular to housewives,

-It is not true that I had an affair.

She would claim that her hoobae Choi Jong-Hyuk had drugged and assaulted her, and her ex-husband Jang Ji-Cheol raided the scene along with his lawyer to take away everything she had.

This story enraged housewives who flooded the Blue House[1] petition board, eventually leading to a police re-investigation.

This led to the downfall of Jang Ji-Cheol and Choi Jong-Hyuk, while Choi Ji-Yung was able to make a comeback as an actress and garnered sympathy as a victim of a conspiracy. Of course, she was currently ousted from the entertainment industry at the moment.

Kang Ji-Yung and Gu Seong-Cheol were shocked by my story.

"If that's true... are you planning to fight fire with fire?"

'They indeed catch on quickly.'

"Yes. The scandalous story behind the divorce of Jang Ji-Cheol and Choi Ji-Yung would easily overshadow the rumors about Yoo-Jin, especially if it involves a crime for financial gain."

Jang Ji-Cheol of TK Entertainment was a top star known to everyone in South Korea. His scandal could more than sufficiently cover Yoo-Jin's scandal.

The specifics would be dealt with later.

"Are you sure about this information? If it turns out to be wrong, the backlash could be severe."

"I wouldn't have brought it up if I wasn't sure. Please trust me."

Although there were some differing opinions, everyone eventually nodded in agreement as there were no better alternative solutions.

Kang Ji-Yung asked out of concern, "It would be more impactful if Miss Choi Ji-Yung herself could come forward to talk about it. Do you think we can convince her?"

"I'll take the initiative on that. But I'll need the support of everyone."

After hearing my continued plan, Kang Ji-Yung and Gu Seong-Cheol nodded in agreement.

"Let's do that."

The war with TK Entertainment had begun anew.

***

In the midst of filming a drama, it was quite common for scandals to arise among cast members. When such incidents occurred, typical responses in articles often read:

-We're just like siblings.

-We have a good sunbae-hoobae relationship.

But Yoo-Jin's scandal this time was different from the usual scandals because articles with manipulated audio recordings and photos were circulating around the internet. Even though we actively denied the articles, TK Entertainment maintained an ambiguous stance and claimed they were in the middle of verifying the facts.

At this rate, Yoo-Jin was doomed. Dating scandals like this were toxic to female celebrities.

Kang Ji-Yung hurried to SBC and threatened that there would be no drama filming until the original tapes of the variety show Yoo-Jin appeared in were released. As a result, it was only natural for the drama and variety departments to be thrown into chaos.

But perhaps due to Kang Gam-Chan's prior investment of 1 billion won, they eventually agreed to our demands.

Just like that, I headed over to Kim Soll-Ip's studio with Jung Sang-Bong. We had to inform Kim Soll-Ip of what was to come at the very least because if things went sour with the writer, everything else would be meaningless no matter how well we did.

While the car was momentarily stopped, Jung Sang-Bong, who was sitting in the passenger seat, was furiously scrolling through comments and visibly seething with anger.

"Ah, fuck this. How can they say such nonsense?"

(Comments)

- Lol, the quiet ones always turn out to be the worst.

- No matter how well you package her image with Human Stories, one's true character will eventually be revealed.

- I heard she even went to a ski resort with Choi Jong-Hyuk

- It's not the first time a celebrity's been caught doing things behind the scenes. This is not surprising at all.

- That audio file has been manipulated.

- Oh, here comes the 'manipulation parrot' again.

Grind!

I could hear Jung Sang-Bong grinding his teeth in frustration.

"Is this your first time seeing hate comments? You must have had your fair share during your national team days, right?"

Jung Sang-Bong seemed so worked up that steam might as well be coming out of his ears.

"Hate comments are mostly directed at soccer and baseball players. In less popular sports like taekwondo, it's a different story. But I just don't understand why Miss Yoo-Jin has to hear all this nonsense. She doesn't deserve this."

He seemed to have developed a sense of belonging since he started managing Yoo-Jin considering that he took the hate comments personally as if they were directed at him.

"How are we, mere commoners, supposed to understand the intricate and delicate psychology of haters? Just let them be."

My mouth felt bitter and dry. Despite our efforts to clarify that the audio recording file was maliciously manipulated, people were not believing us at all.

Soon, we arrived at the underground parking lot of Kim Soll-Ip's apartment complex.

"Carry these and follow me."

Jung Sang-Bong carried four bottles of coffee stuffed in a bag and followed behind me. Then we took the elevator up to the floor where Kim Soll-Ip lived.

At that moment, my phone began to ring and vibrate from the call from Cheon Yi-Sang.

"Hello, this is Jung Yoon-Ho speaking."

Cheon Yi-Sang's low chuckle came through over the line.

-My friend, I was wondering if you've started to consider negotiating with us, so I decided to reach out first. What do you think?

Cheon Yi-Sang's voice was filled with confidence, perhaps because he thought his initial move with the manipulated file had hit its mark. Hearing his laughter over the phone made my blood boil, but I kept my composure.

After all, I knew that getting worked up by his provocation wouldn't solve anything.

"How long do you intend to keep this up?"

-Hmm, I told you. You'll regret it if you refuse my offer. So think carefully. This is just the beginning.

Cheon Yi-Sang's attitude was inexorable.

'If he says it's just the beginning, does that mean there's more to come?'

At that moment, a thought flashed through my mind—I recalled the even more vicious method Cheon Yi-Sang had used when he buried another actor's career.

1. White House of South Korea ☜nove(l)bi(n.)com


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