Following his 14-day detention in China last month for using marijuana, Taiwanese actor Kai Ko’s reputation has been tarnished and he faced pull-outs from as many as 19 endorsers. He is reportedly requested to compensate them NT$50 million (approximately S$2.1 million) in damages.
The 19 companies are split into three groups – those who had to remove his advertisements and are seeking for compensation, others who are still monitoring the situation, and those like Adidas and KFC whose contracts with Kai have already or are about to expire and thus do not need compensation.
There are news that NIVEA Men and chewing gum company Stride have demanded compensation as well. It is estimated that he has to pay up to twice the amount sought after currently, if another third of the endorsers were to demand compensation.
The manager of the 23-year-old, Angie Chai, said in response, “The company and Kai will bear the costs. We will go through the hard times together. His mood is still pretty bad so we have not discussed (whether he will bear the entire bill).”
As to previous rumours of the Chinese media industry banning Kai, it will not happen as movies A Choo and Tiny Times 4 will be released as planned. Authorities commended his bravery in admitting his mistake and called him a “good role model”.