Yoon Ji-oh Revealed Jang Ja-yeon’s Documents
Jang Ja-yeon’s Voice Recording Released Prior to Her Death
On the April 27, 2019, episode of SBS’s ‘Unanswered Questions,’ which focused on the case of Jang Ja-yeon, an audio recording of the late actress was revealed, from five days before her death.
‘Unanswered Questions’ first spoke to one of Jang Ja-yeon’s friends, who had known her from long before she first began dreaming of becoming an actress. The friend commented, “Jang Ja-yeon wasn’t a weak person. She wasn’t someone who got pushed around, and she was a good person who was cheerful and witty. She was [originally] someone who fell asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow. ”
She continued by stating that her friend’s dark transformation began after entering the entertainment industry. “When she gets lost in her thoughts, she would just stare blankly, then say that she wants to die,” recalled Jang Ja-yeon’s friend. “She began taking sleeping pills and gradually took more and more. Before that, she had no reason to be taking medication. Around the time she began taking sleeping pills, she started to have more secrets. She often became flustered and disoriented, and it seemed as if someone had gagged her. It felt like I was being pushed around. It seems as if someone had something on her.”
‘Unanswered Questions‘ used Jang Ja-yeon’s voice recording, which seems to suggest a conflict between the actress and her agency, to support her friend’s claims. In the audio file, Jang Ja-yeon is heard speaking to someone who appears to be an employee of her agency, saying, “I didn’t do anything wrong. I was just doing everything my company was telling me to. I didn’t make any of my own moves. I don’t have anyone or anything at all right now.”
When the other person responds that he believes she must resolve the situation in some way, Jang Ja-yeon replies, “How can I resolve this? With what strength? I can no longer solve this with the strength of mind or medication. If they want to kill me, tell them to. Look at what my CEO has started doing to me. Boss Kim is using extreme words and power to fool around with me.”
The late actress goes on to describe an individual by saying, “He is someone who is very powerful. He joked around that I met up with an old person, saying all kinds of things. They contacted me first, saying they were going to come and kill me.” Jang Ja-yeon also mentions receiving threats that they wouldn’t leave her alone, saying that she had no power in the situation.
Final Reports of Jang Ja-yeon’s Investigation
The Investigative Team of Past Affairs began a reinvestigation into several suspicions surrounding her case on April 2, 2018. On May 13, 2019, the team’s final report was submitted to the Ministry of Justice’s Committee of Past Affairs. More than 80 people were questioned as references by the team as part of its reinvestigation. The team also indicted a former Chosun Ilbo reporter on charges of sexually assaulting Jang Ja-yeon. The questioning was conducted on the former CEO of TV Chosun, Bang Jung-oh, and his uncle, Bang Yong-hoon.
The team also interviewed Yoon Ji-oh and Actress Lee Mi Sook. It’s reported that the Investigative Team of Past Affairs has put forth a recommendation for an investigation into Jang Ja-yeon’s agency CEO Kim for suspicions of giving false testimony when he stated in court that he didn’t assault Jang Ja Yeon. The team also reportedly secured evidence that Kim had forced Jang Ja-yeon to entertain. However, Yonhap News stated that it appears it will not be easy for there to be reinvestigation into the suspicions at the core of this case, such as the forcing of Jang Ja-yeon to serve drinks and perform sexual favors, as well as the suspected complicity of powerful figures in sexual crimes.
The team’s final report includes a request for the transfer of investigation records on these core suspicions. However, due to issues such as the passing of the statute of limitations, Yonhap states that it appears it will be difficult for this request to extend to a recommendation for additional investigations. The Ministry of Justice’s Committee of Past Affairs has the final say on whether an additional investigation will take place. Their decision will be announced on May 20, 2019, after they have reviewed the final report.
The Committee of Past Affairs stated, “We have requested some supplementation and revision to the Jang Ja-yeon final report, including a revision to the wording.” The team has been asked by the committee to have further discussions on issues where their opinions differ.
SBS’s ‘8 O’Clock News’ shared that the team’s final report included content such as issues with past investigations, whether or not there was external pressure on the investigation by the Chosun Ilbo newspaper, and whether the so-called “Jang Ja-yeon’s List “exists. In regard to the suspicions of aggravated rape that were put forward by Yoon Ji-oh, SBS reports that members of the Investigative Team of Past Affairs are divided on whether or not they should request that the prosecution consider an investigation. It’s said that even at the May 13 meeting, members of the team had a heated discussion over the credibility of Yoon Ji-oh’s testimony and the truth about the existence of “Jang Ja-yeon’s List.”