- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 17, 2009

HONOLULU (AP) - South Korean pop star and actor Rain has testified he had every intention of performing in Hawaii and other U.S. states, but a series of abrupt concert cancellations were out of his control.

“I was not the person that canceled the concerts,” he said through an interpreter. “I would love to perform in North America.”

Rain appeared in U.S. District Court on Monday in a civil trial involving the cancellation of his June 15, 2007, concert in Honolulu.

Hawaii-based Click Entertainment Inc. alleges that Rain and his managers breached a contract and defrauded it of $500,000 in licensing fees, plus nearly $1 million in other expenses to stage the event.

Rain answered questions for 90 minutes in Korean through a court interpreter. He introduced himself in English after being sworn in.

“I am Jung Ji-hoon and I perform as Rain. Aloha,” he told the court with a smile.

Before entering the courthouse, Rain flashed a “shaka” hang-loose sign to fans and was handed another lawsuit over his canceled concert in Los Angeles. He let the document fall to the ground.

The 26-year-old Rain said he wanted to perform at Aloha Stadium but couldn’t make it for reasons he had no hand in.

“It was regrettable,” he said.

Rain said he didn’t know why his Hawaii concert was canceled, until much later, when his handlers told him the stage wasn’t adequate and there were security concerns.

When asked what his role was in canceling his five concerts across North America, Rain said he doesn’t make planning decisions. That’s left up to his management team at Seoul-based agency JYP Entertainment, he said.

Byun Sang-bong, JYP’s vice president and chief financial officer, blamed the cancellation and other problems on promotions company Star M. He said a legal copyright challenge in Nevada over the name “Rain” was another issue the company faced at the time.

Click attorney Eric Seitz told the seven-member jury that a motion for preliminary injunction against Rain was never granted, allowing the pop star to perform in the United States.

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