“Squid Game” Fame Veteran Actor Lee Jung Jae’s Shocking Past Has Left Netizens Speechless

Even many South Korean fans were unaware of the extent of his past crimes.

Lee Jung Jae has been a well-recognized name in South Korean film and drama for a long time. But the veteran actor gained international fame only recently with Netflix’s popular series “Squid Game.” His global reception has been overwhelmingly positive so far, bringing him rare opportunities like joining the lead cast of “Star Wars” and gaining him new fans worldwide.

But all these new achievements now stand threatened by his re-discovered past. A recent post on a popular Korean forum posted a compiled list of all the crimes Lee Jung Jae has been guilty of in the past, including multiple DUI and assault charges.

According to the news articles that the OP (original poster) included in their post, Lee Jung Jae was arrested without detention by the Gangnam Police Station for causing an accident while driving his car in an intoxicated state. The police reports stated that Lee was driving a BMW car with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.222% around 2 a.m. in Gangnam-gu and collided with the vehicle of a 23-year-old female office worker. The actor denied the allegations and said that his manager was driving the car, not him.

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In 2002, he was involved in another DUI case. On August 22, the Gangnam Police Station booked Lee Jung Jae without detention for driving with a blood alcohol percentage of 0.054% around midnight. His statement to the police revealed that he had consumed three bottles of beer at a pub with his friends before getting into his car.

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His two assault cases were reported in the same year, 2000. The first one happened in November 1999, at a bar in Seoul Cheongdamdong. Lee was drinking with four other people when he allegedly assaulted a 30-year-old Pyo along with another friend Park, due to an argument at the party.

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His second assault charge was for injuring a 22-year-old woman in front of a nightclub in Haeundae-gu, Busan, on September 26, 2000. According to reports, he dragged and kicked her with his foot, which resulted in injuries she sustained for two weeks. The then 25-year-old actor was booked by the Busan Haeundae Police Station without detention.

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Many international netizens also found articles that quoted the actor giving outright homophobic statements in a 2013 interview with Vogue Korea. An excerpt from that interview mentioned Lee talking about a late friend whom he identified as “Y” and how he tried to persuade this friend to stop being gay.

A while ago, Y left for heaven…[Before he died,] I said to Y, ‘You should stop being gay. Haven’t you been that way enough?’ But it was not easy.

—Lee Jung Jae, Vogue Korea

This was around the time when creative director Woo Jong Wan was found dead in an apparent suicide at his apartment in Seoul. Since Lee was a close friend of Woo, many netizens assumed that the “Y” in question was the late creative director. Even though his sexuality was never a point of discussion before his death, there were rumors that he was gay.
This resurfacing of Lee Jung Jae’s past has left new fans in shock. Many are appalled by his actions and are now second-guessing his nature as a person.

  • “Wow, I didn’t know at all”
  • “I knew about the DUI, but I’m hearing about the assault for the first time. I’m shocked”
  • “I had no idea at all. I’m even shocked that the picture is of Lee Jung Jae. A person who should be in the prison is on the TV instead.”


  • “Why would he hit a woman sitting in his own car? He’s scary”
  • “Whoa, I thought it was a woman in another car? If it was his fellow passenger, then this is really scary.”
  • “No, no, it wasn’t a fellow passenger. Lee Jung Jae hit a woman because he was drunk in his car! But his side says that he never assaulted her, and he just dragged her out.”

Lee Jung Jae’s representatives are yet to make any statements regarding these resurfaced allegations.

Source: Instiz and Korea JoongAng Daily