Controversy over the late actress Jang Ja Yeon‘s death has once again become front-page news in Korea.
The former CEO of the late actress Jang Ja Yeon sued veteran actress Lee Mi Sook and actress Yoon Ji Oh for defamation and litigation fraud on September 21, according to the former CEO’s lawyers.
We have filed a lawsuit against Yoon Ji Oh and Lee Mi Sook with the Seoul Seocho Police Station.
— Former CEO’s lawyer
According to the lawsuit, Yoon Ji Oh had previously lied in interviews defaming the former CEO.
Yoon Ji Oh had previously stood as a witness in a 2010 trial where the former CEO was alleged to have abused the late Jang Ja Yeon. During the trial, Yoon Ji Oh initially testified that no abuse took place.
Neither I nor the CEO had ever forced the late Jang Ja Yeon or any other actress in the agency to drink or pour alcohol.
— Yoon Ji Oh
Yoon Ji Oh would later change stories when in interviews, she alleged that Jang Ja Yeon was raped while under the influence of a foreign substance. She also appeared on television shows MBC‘s PD Note (2018) and KBS‘s Tonight Kim Jae Dong (2019), where she alleged that Jang Ja Yeon’s former CEO raped the late actress.
The former CEO’s lawyer argued that the accusations alleged in these interviews were all false.
Yoon Ji Oh knows that she lied during the interviews and court testimony. The fact that she fled the country is a testament to this.
— Former CEO’s Lawyer
Also, the lawyer alleged that Yoon Ji Oh exploited Jang Ja Yeon’s death for personal gain.
Yoon Ji Oh exploited Jang Ja Yeon’s death for her personal gain. She entrapped the late Jang Ja Yeon, politicians, and even the television networks into her web of lies for profit, and when she was exposed, she fled to Canada and refused to return.
— Former CEO’s Lawyer
The lawyer then alleges Lee Mi Sook led the late Jang Ja Yeon to her death.
The lawyer claimed that veteran actress Lee Mi Sook exploited Jang Ja Yeon and used her death to cover up her affair with a man 17 years younger than her. The lawyer then alleges that she also sponsored a man 20 years her younger who she has given over ₩20.0 billion KRW (about $14.2 million USD).
Lee Mi Sook exploited the powerless Jang Ja Yeon and abused her until her death. Lee Mi Sook used Jang Ja Yeon’s death, but she has never apologized and spent the last 12 years as if nothing happened. Lee Mi Sook’s abuse stems from trying to cover up an affair with a man 17 years younger than her. She had also sponsored a man 20 years younger than her who she had given over ₩200 million KRW (about $142,000 USD).
— Former CEO’s lawyer
The lawyer then alleges that Lee Mi Sook had outcasted Jang Ja Yeon from the entertainment industry. To prevent Jang Ja Yeon from using the information she knew against her, Lee Mi Sook forced the late Jang Ja Yeon’s manager to write down false allegations about the late actress and her former CEO. Despite the late Jang Ja Yeon asking for the note, her former manager denied her and, in turn, threatened her with it, which led to Jang Ja Yeon ending her own life.
The late Jang Ja Yeon is an actress who is best remembered for her role in Boys Over Flowers. On March 7, 2009, the late actress was found to allegedly have committed suicide. Her death sparked a national outcry when allegations of abuse at the hands of her former CEO were made public. It was also alleged that the actress had kept a note listing the names of prominent industry executives that she was allegedly forced to sleep with.
The former CEO and the late actress’s former manager were arrested in 2009 after being extradited from Japan. The former CEO was sentenced to only one year in jail and two years of probation. The case was reopened in 2018 under the orders of then-president Moon Jae In. Actress Yoon Ji Oh then came forward and conducted interviews alleging abuse by the late actress’s former CEO. But it would later be revealed that Yoon was promoting a book she had released about the late Jang Ja Yeon and that her testimonies weren’t consistent over the years. This and due to her other allegations of defamation and lies, her testimony was deemed unusable in court, and the police closed the case.
There have been no other arrests in the case.