Learn More About Lee Byung-hun and His Blackmailing Controversy
Lee Byung-hun is a popular actor, singer, and model who has reached Hollywood movies like G.I. Joe: Rise of The Cobra (2009), G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013), Red 2 (2013),
Terminator Genisys (2015), and The Magnificent Seven (2016). In South Korea, he has starred in many movies and TV Series too, like A Bitter Sweet Life (2005), Iris (2009),
Masquerade (2012), and many more. His most remarkable Korean movie was Inside Men (2016) that brought him three Best Actor awards at different award ceremonies. He got married to actress Lee Min-jung on August 10th, 2013, and his son was born in March 2015.
However, back in 2014, the actor was involved in a blackmailing controversy with two other women. The controversy began when one of the women spread a one-on-one chat with the artist implying they were a thing. Who are the women? How did the controversy go? How did Lee Min-jung feel? Channel-Korea will provide more details about Lee Byung-hun and his blackmailing controversy below.
Lee Byung-hun’s Affair
In early January 2015, Dispatch released some screenshots of Lee Byung-hun’s chat with model Lee Ji-yeon. At the time, Lee Byung-hun, Lee Ji-yeon, and GLAM’s Da-hee were involved in a blackmailing case. According to Allkpop, Dispatch also added some information about Lee Byung-hun, Lee Ji-yeon, and Da-hee meeting in some place. The three of them met with three others on July 1st, 2014.
At first, Da-hee sat between Lee Ji-yeon and Lee Byung-hun but then switched her seats due to Lee Byung-hun’s request. He asked for Lee Ji-yeon’s phone number but she refused, saying that she hasn’t paid her phone bills so her phone was not working. Instead, she asked to exchange SNS messenger IDs. Hearing her having trouble, Lee Byung-hun offered to pay her phone bills for a year so that they could communicate with each other and he would help her financially if needed. Lee Ji-yeon revealed that she said that because she did not want to give him her number and that her parents were paying for her phone bills so he didn’t need to pay for her.
Two days later, on July 3rd, Lee Byung-hun met Lee Ji-yeon at her house before Da-hee joined them around half an hour later. The actor gave Lee Ji-yeon a bottle of wine, a cell phone, and 1,500,000 KRW (approximately 1,350 USD) in cell phone bills but she rejected the cash on the spot and gave it back to him. They played a card game and Lee Ji-yeon lost. Lee Byung-hun volunteered to be her dark knight and requested kisses from her like 3-4 times. When Lee Ji-yeon went to the convenience store, Da-hee filmed Lee Byung-hun asking Lee Ji-yeon an inappropriate sexual question while she was pretending to text.
LBH: What’s for dinner?
LJY: What do you like?
LBH: Is it going to be romantic tomorrow?
LJY: Are you still filming???
LBH: Why not?
LBH: It must be nice to be able to choose.
On July 31st, the three of them met again for Lee Ji-yeon’s birthday. Lee Byung-hun gave her an Argentinian wine and makeup. Lee Ji-yeon confessed that before Da-hee came, Lee Byung-hun hugged her and attempted to do sexual approaches but she refused. Yet Lee Byung-hun denied any sexual contact. He immediately left the apartment when Da-hee’s friend arrived.
LBH: We’re seeing each other tomorrow, right?
LBH: Will it be romantic?
LJY: We’ll see how you do.
LBH: I’ll be good.
LJY: This is your brain map.
LBH: There’s tomorrow, you, romantic, and success in my head.
LJY: What do you mean by success?
LBH: It means whether or not I’ll succeed romantically.
LJY: Did you know it’s my birthday this week?
LBH: Then we’ll celebrate it tomorrow together.
LBH: I hope you’ll keep the secret.
LJY: Don’t worry.
LBH: I really looked forward to this.
LBH: When can I see you tomorrow?
LJY: My mom’s coming.
On August 14th, Lee Byung-hun and Lee Ji-yeon met alone. According to Lee Ji-yeon, they talked about sexual matters, while Lee Byung-hun claimed that she only talked about her financial problem. Lee Byung-hun said that they stopped meeting because she kept talking about economic status and demanded to buy her a house but in her defense, Lee Ji-yeon talked about the house because she wanted to change the topic from sexual stuff.
LBH: Is your friend there today?
LBH: When are you free out of today and tomorrow?
LJY: I have to go to cram school today.
LBH: When will your friend not be there?
LBH: I stepped out of line today. I’m sorry…
LBH: I think we should stop seeing each other. We’ll only hurt each other.
LJY: You’re cutting off human relations like this, huh?
Lee Byung-hun’s agency, BH Entertainment, responded about the spreading rumor. They said that the information was falsely reported and was published on purpose. They also would take legal action against it. Yet, according to Soompi, Lee Ji-yeon’s ex-roommate confessed through SBS’ Morning Wide that Lee Byung-hun came to their house. She wondered why a star like him visited their house at that time. “He seemed to be having a good time. Lee Byung-hun told us after that he had fun hanging out with us,” she added.
Lee Byung-hun Blackmailed by Model Lee Ji-yeon and GLAM’s Da-hee
On September 1st, 2014, BH Entertainment revealed that Lee Byung-hun received a blackmail threat to release his personal information. They stated that the actor received the threat on August 28th, 2014, and unless he paid billions of won, his personal information would be leaked. The agency then made an official report to the authorities regarding the blackmail.
After receiving the blackmail, Lee Byung-hun alerted his agency. The blackmailers were caught and arrested on September 1st, early in the morning. It was revealed that the blackmailers were two women who had known Lee Byung-hun through a mutual friend. According to Soompi, a source from Gangnam Police Station added that the two women were 21 and 25 years old and they threatened him with a smartphone recording of him saying inappropriate things. It was recorded a month before when they met at his house. They threatened him to pay them 5 billion won (approximately 4.9 million USD) if he did not want them to release the video on the internet. The younger woman was revealed to be a rookie singer who has already debuted.
The next day, Sports World revealed that one of the blackmailers was Da-hee who was still a member of GLAM. She debuted as a GLAM member in 2012 with the single track “Party” (XXO). Da-hee met Lee Byung-hun with her model friend through a mutual friend. GLAM’s agency, Big Hit Entertainment, has acknowledged the case but stated that they could not contact Da-hee and claimed not to know the details since it’s her personal matter.
Later the same day, according to Soompi, the agency confirmed about Da-hee’s involvement to Star News. They said that her manager met her at the police station. “Da-hee admitted to her actions and wanted to express her apologies,” they said. When asked about her future promotion, her agency replied that they would focus on decisions regarding the request for an arrest warrant and that her future promotion was not yet to be decided. Meanwhile, the next day, Lee Byung-hun’s agency revealed that the crime was fully intentional and pre-planned as the two women had purchased two tickets to Europe before the blackmail. They added that the actor also received secondary damage due to the false and speculative spreading of rumors about the case. They stated that they would take any legal actions necessary to stop it.
Lee Byung-hun’s Handwritten Apology Letter
On September 5th, 2014, Lee Byung-hun released a handwritten apology letter through his agency’s official homepage and Facebook. According to Soompi, he apologized for disappointing many people with his recent incident. “Before I can put any blame on whether it was premeditated or that I was threatened, I am reflecting with deep regret that this all started because of my carelessness and lack of virtue,” he continued.
He said the most painful thing was that he disappointed the people who he cared about the most as they received unwanted attention and went through a difficult time because of him. He conveyed that he would try his hardest not to disappoint his family and his wife who have stood by him all this time. He ended his letter by reassuring to do his best with his work in the future and try to live committed to the things that were given to him.