It’s the fault of this world (1)
The one that used to be the closest to her was looking at her with such a strange and wary look and it left a bitter taste in Sheng Qiao’s mouth. In the past, Qiao Yu would always scold her enough for chasing stars to make her mind go numb but would also mobilize his entire law firm to help her get Huo Xi’s concert tickets. He had never bared seeing his sister wronged.
Sheng Qiao had known that and she had thanked her parents and God for giving her such a good older brother. But now, this brother of hers had been taken away from her. He would no longer comfort her like a baby everytime she would suffer.
Sheng Qiao lowered her head and poured him some tea, fighting the tears back. She took two deep breaths before speaking:
“Like I said on the phone, I wanted to consult you on some legal issues.”
Qiao Yu glanced at her and noticing her expression seemed sincere, he felt relieved. As long as it was work, he could manage; he just did not want to deal with celebrities’ economic disputes. He relaxed.
“Tell me about your situation.”
Sheng Qiao took out a document from her bag and handed it to him.
“Look at this first.”
It was her contract and Qiao Yu began to read it. The more he read, the more shocked he looked and in the end, he forgot work etiquette.
“Oh my God, why would you even sigh this?”
Sheng Qiao sighed and took out her phone.
“Now listen to this.” It was the recording from her conversation with Gao Meiling earlier today. After hearing it, Qiao Yu’s jaw was about to drop. Was the entertainment industry so messy?
Sheng Qiao smiled helplessly and drank a sip of tea to stabilize her emotions.
“I will summarize it all for you. Five years ago, my father killed himself by jumping off a building. He was a gambler and owed three million yuans to a loan shark. The loan shark asked my mother and I to pay back the money and because we did not have it, they tied me up and took naked pictures of me. My current agent, Gao Meiling, helped me repay the debts in exchange for this contract and now that I am trying to terminate it, she is threatening me with the pictures. That’s why I need your help, how can I protect myself?”
Qiao Yu was in shock. Sheng Qiao was in no hurry and after finishing the first pot of tea, she started brewing another. Qiao Yu finally recovered and frowned.
“Aren’t you afraid I will spread what you just told me?”
“I trust you entirely. Like I said, I only trust you.”
He did not know where her confidence came from and Qiao Yu was more than a little shaken by the unconditional trust she had in him.
Sheng Qiao handed him another file: “This is the written version of the recording.”
After Qiao Yu had read the two documents again, his expression had become solemn.
“What would you like to do? Do you want to terminate the contract with Xingyao Media or have the terms changed?”
Sheng Qiao did not hesitate: “Terminate.”
“The lawsuit can be fought.” Qiao Yu tapped his finger on the contract. “According to the law, the other party used fraud and coercion to make you sign the contract, which violates free man’s will. Legally speaking, this is a revocable contract. Moreover, the other party used naked photos to threaten you which are both reputational damage and personal violation. But…”
He looked over at Sheng Qiao: “Once a lawsuit is filed, your agency will certainly not sit back and wait. You… Your pictures will most likely be exposed and there will be no evidence to prove Xingyao Media is the leaking party because the pictures were not taken by them but your creditors. They can just say the loan shark kept the originals and published them.”
Qiao Yu frowned: “Have you considered these consequences?”
Even if she was not in the wrong, she was still a celebrity and people would look. One could imagine what kind of disaster would follow after nude photos were put on the Internet. People would slander and criticize her and it would last a lifetime.
She would be alone and without protection. Using the law was a double edged sword; she could right the wrongs but would have no privacy left.
Sheng Qiao looked down at the rippling tea in the white porcelain cup. After a long silence, she raised her head and smiled at Qiao Yu.
Qiao Yu looked at her incredulously and she said:
“Having such a father isn’t my fault. The debts are not my fault. Having naked pictures taken of me wasn’t my fault. Being taken advantage by an agency is not my fault… Even if everyone attacks me in the end, it still won’t be my fault.” She paused and laughed softly. “It’s the world that is wrong.”
Qiao Yu remained motionless, only staring at the smiling girl opposite him, and after a while he put away the documents.
“I will take these files back and will prepare all the relevant materials for prosecution. I will contact you when it’s done.”
Sheng Qiao nodded and after hesitating for a second, she said: “Qiao Yu, about the litigation fees…”
He smiled at her: “Don’t worry, we will talk about it when we win.”
Qiao Yu got up, said goodbye and turned to leave. She looked at his back with teary eyes and said in a whisper: “Thank you, brother.”
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