It was a hard knock life for Han Geng. The Chinese-born singer and actor has revealed that financial problems were one of the main reasons he left Super Junior in 2009.
During a September 28 interview on Chinese network BTV, he admitted that family money worries were what motivated him to excel in the entertainment industry. He also shed light on some of the problems surrounding being a foreigner in the Korean showbiz scene.
“My family has never had money, so the most important thing to me was help my parents have a better life,” the 29 year-old Mandopop star — who debuted with Super Junior in 2005 and then sub-unit Super Junior-M in 2008 — explained the Youth: The Best of Times documentary. “I was the first foreign celebrity to debut [with SM Entertainment] in Korea and the laws surrounding work were not ideal. I could not film commercials and could not participate in all of the promotional activities, which had severe effect on my earnings. After some time, I started to lose hope.”
He recalled bursting into tears during a performance after receiving realising he barely had anything to live on. “I cried performing ‘Twins’ with the other members. I received just $650 [USD] in my first year. I gathered money like it was life or death because seeing my mother suffer made my heart ache.”
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Hangeng — who is currently filming Transformers: Age of Extinction in the US — spoke of the moment he decided to call it a day: “I took all of my bank accounts, hospital records, and other paperwork and met with a lawyer to prepare a lawsuit against the SM Entertainment. I couldn’t let the company suspect anything, so I continued communicate with my manager via mail while I was in the law office in free time.”
After a two year legal battle, he and SM Entertainment mutually agreed upon terminating his contract in September 2011. “I’m sorry for causing anyone any stress,” he adds. “But I have no regrets.”