Actor Lee Seung Gi has been making headlines ever since his dating news with actress Lee Da In went public. As the actor confirmed his relationship, the couple sent the nation in a storm of frenzy as Dispatch photos of their car dates began to circulate online.
While the general public has been busy congratulating the couple, one of Lee Seung Gi’s fans has voiced concerns over the actor’s relationship. This fan has since rented a truck to show the frustration on an extra-large display. The sign on the truck states, “[Lee Da In’s family] had created too many victims.”
It’s okay if you didn’t know, we’ll inform you now. They have created too many victims.
— Lee Seung Gi’s Fan
As the truck makes its way around town, the LED display flashes different messages to inform Lee Seung Gi of the fan’s bitterness toward Lee Da In.
Are you willing to destroy your 17-year-old career? A quick decision must be made.
— Lee Seung Gi’s Fan
This protest display urges Lee Seung Gi to protect his fans, as they have been protecting him for the past 17 years, by cutting ties with his new girlfriend. And while truck protests have come to be an inseparable, and dark, part of the K-Pop and Korean entertainment industry, this particular protest is not as simple as it may seem.
We have protected you for the past 17 years. It is now your turn to protect Airens (Lee Seung Gi’s fandom).
— Lee Seung Gi’s Fan
The negativity around Lee Seung Gi’s new relationship with Lee Da In stems from the actress’s family and that family’s “criminal history,” as reported since 2016.
Lee Da In comes from a family of well-known celebrities, with her mother being one of South Korea’s veteran actresses, Kyeon Mi Ri. Her older sister is another well-known actress in the industry Lee Yoo Bi. The controversy that lies within her family and the “reason” behind Lee Seung Gi’s fan protest, however, comes from her stepfather.
Lee Da In’s stepfather Lee Hong Heon, who married Kyeon Mi Ri back in 1998, was previously charged with stock manipulation and insider trading on two different occasions.
In both 2009 and 2018, Lee Hong Heon was arrested for manipulating the stock prices for KOSDAQ. It was reported that he used his wife’s name and status to recruit investors to invest in the company. After acquiring the investors, he manipulated the stock prices by inflating the cost of the company’s shares, which resulted in a massive gain for Lee Hong Heon and his investors. Following the gain, they sold their shares of the company to “cash in” their profit, which resulted in mayhem for the rest of the company’s stockholders.
According to reports made by Yonhap News, Lee Hong Heon reportedly saw ₩2.30 billion KRW (about $2.06 million USD) in profits from his stock manipulation scheme.
In addition, an anonymous netizen surfaced — claiming that Lee Hong Heon’s stock manipulation directly impacted the family’s downfall. According to the claims made in an online post, the netizen’s relative — as well as thousands of people — saw a massive loss due to the stock manipulation and went into bankruptcy as a result. While the netizen acknowledged that the relative’s investment had been ultimately voluntary, the netizen also claimed that manipulation inevitably played into the negative outcome.
The online post also alleged that neither Lee Hong Heon nor Kyeon Mi Ri apologized for the situation or to the “victims” who struggled due to the stock manipulation. Instead, the netizen claimed, Lee Da In’s parents are said to have “made themselves the victims and went on to file lawsuits against the actual victims.”
With more information about the family’s criminal history resurfacing, some Koreans are expressing disappointment in not only the actresses, but also Lee Seung Gi.
- “Oh my god there are a lot of victims. Please, I hope these types of people stop appearing on broadcasted programs.”
- “He probably found it a sweet deal if he can rack up the wealth by serving a couple of years in jail. He’s out and living his best life now, damn.”
- “The estimated losses suffered by the manipulation(s) is ₩26.0 billion KRW (about $23.3 million USD) [from the first manipulation] and between ₩2.00 trillion KRW (about $1.79 billion USD) to ₩4.00 trillion KRW (about $3.58 billion USD) [from the second manipulation]… I had no idea it was such a massive problem.”
- “There are 350,000+ victims, but they have been able to remain actresses during this time? All while showing off their rooms and living rooms?”
- “Seriously, they shouldn’t be allowed on television.”
- “350,000+ victims!!! Holy crap.”
- “Oh my gosh… Lee Seung Gi probably dated her knowing all of this. It really is disappointing. His good image is crumbling.”
- “If there really are that many victims, Kyeon Mi Ri and Lee Da In should not be allowed on any broadcasts.”
Amid the ongoing outrage, however, Lee Seung Gi’s fandom came out with an official letter announcing their support of the actors’ relationship.
Firstly, we would like to announce that as longtime fans of Lee Seung Gi, we respect his decision and will continue to support his future promotions without any changes.
While some fans have been expressing their concerns at his sudden dating news, we would like to state that we believe that they will come to understand Lee Seung Gi’s sincerity overtime.
— Lee Seung Gi’s DC Fan Gallery
Lee Seung Gi himself also released a statement regarding his relationship, asking the fans for kind support, while requesting the media “to refrain from articles that contain guesswork and unconfirmed speculations.”