According to an article by ABS-CBN News, Mario's agency Kwaonhar Nine Nine sent a letter to Artists Gallery Management saying that Kakai "has continued to use Mario Maurer to attach herself without his knowledge or consent." The letter said that their legal counsel consulted Mario to "confirm that all statements and claims made by [Kakai] regarding her proximity [with Maurer] are hereby denied as false and untrue" and asked the actress to "cease, desist, and refrain" from using Mario's name.
Kakai and Mario worked together in the 2012 film Suddenly It's Magic, which told the story of two heartbroken souls: a baker named Joey (Erich Gonzales) and a Thai heartthrob named Marcus (Mario), who fall in love with each other when he visits the Philippines. Kakai played the role of Marj, one of Joey's friends in the movie.
Kakai Bautista on her friendship with Mario Maurer
The legal letter didn't mention a specific instance where Kakai "mentioned Mario," but after working on the movie together, Kakai talked about her friendship with him in different TV shows, saying how kind he was to everyone. It was also a running joke during their 2012 Gandang Gabi Vice guesting that Mario became closer to Kakai—compared to Erich—during filming for Suddenly It's Magic.
"Naiiyak ako kasi ang bait niya lang talaga sa akin. Hindi ko akalain na magiging magkaibigan kami," Kakai shared in 2013, during an emotional Showbiz Inside Report interview. "Kasi nga yung nga tao, porket ba komedyante na chaka, hindi na pwede magkaroon ng kaibigan na sikat, na superstar, international star, 'di ba? Parang siya lang yung nagpatunay na wala talagang pinipili yung totoong pagkakaibigan. Kahit ano ka pa...Kahit anong sabihin ng mga tao na I'm using him, nagi-ilusyon ako sa friendship namin, sorry po." She added that her friendship with Mario was like an "older sister" and "little brother" relationship.
According to ABS-CBN News, Kakai also met Mario's family when she visited Thailand, but 2013 was the last time they spoke to each other. She told Tito Boy in 2019: "Na-stop lang po na makipag-communicate siya sa akin, kasi andoon na po marami na pong nangyari. Ayun, syempre na-hurt naman ako doon, pero okay naiintindihan ko naman." She said that she still talked to Mario's brother Marco Maurer, but that they never talked about Mario himself.
Kakai Bautista's response to the issue
As of this writing, Kakai hasn't released an official statement regarding the legal letter. Netizens, however, took note of her Instagram account, where she posted beach pics and wrote: "Hoooh ang hirap 'pag sobrang gandaaaa. ISMAYL nalang si tyang sa mga taong ayaw tumigil," and "BRB. Too busy loving myself. Too busy being grateful."