A House And Another Woman May Factor In The Lee Byung Hun Blackmail Case
The Seoul Prosecutor's office has stated that while there is enough evidence to prosecute model Lee Ji Yeon and GLAM member Dahee for attempting to blackmail Lee Byung Hun, there is no evidence that the actor and Lee ever had an affair.
Lee Ji Yeon's lawyers claimed that the model only tried to blackmail the actor as an emotional response to the break up of an alleged three-month-long relationship. The 44-year-old actor, who married actress Lee Min Jung last year, denied that he had a romantic relationship with the 24-year-old model. He said that he knew Lee Ji Yeon and Dahee through a mutual friend and had attempted to distance himself from them when he realized they had financial problems.
According to the Korea Herald, prosecutors said that the women met Lee Byung Hun at a July 1 dinner gathering and subsequently met him several times later for drinks. The women thought that he was interested in an intimate relationship with Lee Ji Yeon. They allegedly conspired to blackmail him, setting up a smartphone to catch candid shots should he decide to initiate a relationship. But, according to the prosecution, there is no evidence that the relationship ever happened.
After Lee Ji Yeon reportedly asked Lee Byung Hun for a house, he messaged her that he did not wish to see her again.
The two women then reportedly decided to use a conversation between them to attempt to blackmail the actor, demanding $5 million. The actor refused and reported the case to the police.
A search warrant was issued for the women's homes and the prosecutors decided there was enough evidence to detain the women. Since then Lee Ji Yeon and Dahee have admitted to some of the charges. Dahee and Lee Ji Yeon were reportedly in debt and saw blackmail as a solution to their financial problems.
According to the Dispatch, a third woman was also involved in the case. The woman, known only as "A" was the person who introduced Lee Byung Hun to Lee Ji Yeon. The mystery woman was also present at future meetings between them. Sources told the Dispath that Lee Byung Hun was with "A" on the day that Lee Ji Yeon and Dahee said they would release the video. He asked "A" for help and decided after their discussion to report the incident to the police.
Lee Byung Hun's wife Lee Min Jung was visiting friends in Paris when the scandal first broke. After the incident was reported, she chose not to return to the home she shared with her husband and instead went to live at her parents' home.
Lee Min Jung Rarely Leaves Her Parents' Home
Prosecutors in the Lee Byung Hun blackmail case said this week that they did not find enough evidence to prove model Lee Ji Yeon's claim that she and the actor had an affair. The end of the alleged three-month-long affair was the reason given by the model for wanting to blackmail the actor. He denied they ever had an affair. But his denial and the finding of the prosecutor's office did not convince the actor's wife Lee Min Jung to return to her marital home.
The actress has been staying at her parents' Gangnam home since she returned from a trip to Paris on Sept. 16. She has remained inside their home as much as possible, according to a recent report in the Korea Herald. She only left the house to meet her contractual obligations but then returned quickly to her parents' home.
Rumors spread that the actress did visit her marital home but those rumors have been denied.
Friends of the actress told the Korea Herald that the actress has been hurt and struggling since the incident was first made public and does not wish to issue any statements. It is not known whether she has seen her husband since the scandal became public.
Although Lee Byung Hun denied that he ever dated Lee Ji Yeon, he did say he knew the two women and met them a few times. But he said that he decided to stop seeing them when he suspected they had financial problems.
According to the prosecution, the women may have conspired to blackmail the actor from the beginning, assuming he was interested in Lee Ji Yeon. When he did not express interest in starting an affair, they used her phone to capture him having a suggestive conversation and threatened to blackmail him with that.
They demanded $5 million or they would release the video. The actor refused and reported them to the police.
Whether or not the actor was having an affair with Lee Ji Yeon, the fact that he socialized with them repeatedly without his wife being present does put her in an awkward position.
Lee Byung Hun and Lee Min Jung have known each other since 2006 when they met on a modeling job. They dated for a while but broke up. But they met again a few years later and began dating again, heading quickly toward marriage. At the time he said that they were attracted to each other because they had a lot in common.
"Having something in common is very important in a relationship," said Lee Byung Hun when he announced their wedding plans. "We have a lot in common, we actually never stop talking; we have so many things to share. Even though we have a big age gap, she is very mature and understands the emotions experienced by someone my age."
It is not known whether they are talking at the moment. What do you think are the chances that this marriage will survive?
Agencies Consider Suspending Ads With Lee Byung Hun and Han Hyo Joo
Although actor Lee Byung Hun was the victim in a blackmail attempt that he reported to police, the surrounding publicity resulting from the scandal has prompted a petition to remove him from TV ads. The petition also cites his BH Entertainment labelmate actress Han Hyo Joo, whose family is involved in a separate controversy.
Lee Byung Hun's scandal began on Aug. 20 when he reported a blackmail attempt by two women, later identified as GLAM singer Dahee and model Lee Ji Yeon. The women asked for $5 million or they would release video footage of the married actor having an inappropriate conversation about sexual preferences.
Lee Ji Yeon's attorney later claimed that the blackmail attempt was an emotional reaction to Lee Byung Hun wanting to break off their three-month relationship. He denied that he had a relationship with her and claimed that he only met the women because they knew a mutual friend. After a police search found the smartphone that the conversation was recorded on, both women were arrested and charged with blackmail.
The actor issued an apology for any responsibility he had in creating the scandal and causing his family pain. He married actress Lee Min Jung in a lavish celebrity wedding last year.
Despite his apology, the publicity is still having a negative effect on the actor's career.
A few days after the arrest a petition with a reported 4,000 signatures was posted on the site Daum Agora. It stated that while the petitioners could choose not to see movies and dramas, which featured the actor, they could not avoid seeing him on television in advertisements. The petition requested that he be suspended from all advertising activities.
According to an article in 10Asia, some of the commercial production companies have responded to the petition by halting his ads. Others are still deciding what they will do.
Actress Han Hyo Joo was also cited in the same petition for an unrelated controversy. The only connection between her and the Lee Byung Hun scandal is that they are represented by the same agency and they co-starred in the film "Masquerade." She has not personally been involvd in any scandal but her younger brother was accused of assaulting and bullying a soldier during his military service last year. Those signing the petitions said she should be responsible for her brother's actions and be suspended from serving as an advertising spokesperson.
Lee Byung Hun's CF companies, "We have halted his ads since the scandal"
1. [+1,277, -61] Do something about Han Hyo Joo. Her dongseng committed murder. Her father's an air force group captain and she's an air force honorary ambassador. It makes me disgusted to see her remain silent on this issue.
2. [+1,033, -26] He's made enough to live off of... Just kick him from the industry.
3. [+841, -25] Once time passes, he'll come back like nothing happened again.
4. [+103, -3] Please do something about Han Hyo Joo.
5. [+89, -6] I refuse to watch Han Hyo Joo's ads!!!!!! The day university students took to the streets to put up paper signs about what happened, Han Hyo Joo deleted all related searches online and not one article related to her was released once that documentary was aired.
6. [+80, -3] Please halt Han Hyo Joo's ads too
7. [+70, -2] Kick both Lee Byung Hun and Han Hyo Joo, I don't want to see them anymore
8. [+66, -4] Guys, look at the media play Han Hyo Joo's agency does whenever she's being talked about. It's disgusting.
Han Hyo Joo gets hit with the boomerang of Lee Byung Hun's scandal... another scandal expected
Article talks about petitions online to take down Lee Byung Hun's CFs. Since Han Hyo Joo is under the same agency as Lee Byung Hun, article speculates that her scandal with her younger brother will come to light as well along with petitions to take her CFs down.
1. [+1,556, -37] Yeah, she should not have done that New World E-Mart CF
- I get goosebumps and feel disgusted every time I see that CF, fu*k
- I immediately tsk tsk every time I see Han Hyo Joo on that CF on TV
- The CF company should honestly be compensated for their image damage
2. [+1,471, -90] Please take down both of their CFs~~ I change the channel every time I see them
3. [+970, -26] How is this a boomerang? From my viewpoint, I think what Han Hyo Joo's dongseng did is worse than Lee Byung Hun.
4. [+150, -13] To all the people saying Han Hyo Joo's not at fault because her brother committed the crime, not her, think about this for a second. If one of your family members killed someone, would you just sit and shhh about it? She's the one who media played about how proud she was to be an army ambassador because her father and brother are both soldiers. Now that her brother's killed someone, she's suddenly not related to him? Not once have they apologized or visited the family of the dead after the soldier hung himself on his own shoestrings. Even Cha Seung Won apologized for the crimes of his own son.
5. [+148, -4] Whenever I see Han Hyo Joo smiling in that E-Mart CF, I think of the father of the dead soldier crying over his picture.
6. [+112, -3] It's not a boomerang, she deserves it.
7. [+73, -1] Makes me uncomfortable seeing the either of them
8. [+71, -4] Ah, Han Hyo Joo seriously disgusts me ^^
9. [+68, -3] Both make me want to throw up but Han Hyo Joo is disgusting. At least Lee Byung Hun kept it within the confines of his industry, Han Hyo Joo's dongseng killed an innocent person.
10. [+63, -4] People think only Han Hyo Joo's dongseng is at fault but think of Han Hyo Joo still acting as an army ambassador even through all this, it's crazy.
source: kdramastars 1 2 3, netizenbuzz 1 2, nate 1 2