Girls Who Blackmailed Lee Byung-hun Sentenced to Prison
(Left to right) Kim DaHee, Lee Byung-hun, Lee Ji-Yeon
The Seoul Central District Court has handed down a 1-year prison sentence to K-pop girl group GLAM member Kim Dahee (20) and model Lee Ji-Yeon (24) for the blackmail of actor Lee Byung-hun.
In September of 2014, Lee Byung-hun was involved in a scandal where he was caught on tape having a lewd and suggestive conversation with Dahee and Lee Ji-Yeon. However, Lee Byung-hun reported that the two attempted to blackmail him by threatening to release the video if he did not pay them a sum of nearly 5 million US dollars (5 billion Korean won). Lee Byung-hun apologized for his role in the scandal and acknowledged that he was inappropriate in the video that was recorded of him. Soon after, Lee Ji-Yeon came forward and claimed that her and Lee Byung-hun had been having an affair, further fanning the flames of the scandal for the actor who had recently married actress Lee Min-jung. Lee Byung-hun denied any romantic involvement with Lee Ji-Yeon.
In this final court decision, the judge determined that, based on an analysis of phone records and Kakao Talk messages between Lee Byung-hun and Lee Ji-Yeon, that it was difficult to see any evidence to support Lee Ji-Yeon’s claims. Although both Dahee and Lee Ji-Yeon claim that they were the victims, the judge came to the conclusion that the two had planned to blackmail the actor from the start and that, rather than being an act of someone who was “betrayed,” this crime was perpetrated entirely for financial gain for the two.
Initially the prosecution sought to get both Dahee and Lee Ji-Yeon a 3-year prison sentence each claiming that the two have shown no remorse and that Lee Ji-Yeon’s repeated claims of having an affair with Lee Byung-hun have only sought to damage his public image.
Kim Dahee was sentenced to 12-months in prison, and Lee Ji-Yeon was sentenced to a slightly longer 14-months.