The Most Shocking Celebrity Dating Scandal Korea Has Ever Witnessed

It tainted the careers of three top stars.

Idols being in relationships have become very common now, but before the non-stop Dispatch releases, there was an unbelievable love affair that shocked K-Pop.. and it all started in 2011.

Lee Ji Ah And Jung Woo Sung Begin Dating

The story began when Sports Khan broke news of actress Lee Ji Ah and actor Jung Woo Sung‘s relationship on March 11, 2011. They released photos of the couple enjoying a date in the streets of Paris.

Dispatch soon followed by releasing photos of them enjoying a night drive together. According to reports, the two became close while filming for Athena: Goddess Of War.

At the time, Jung Woo Sung was one of the hottest eligible bachelors in the Korean entertainment industry. With rugged good looks, a stunning build, and an extensive line of hit productions, Jung Woo Sung was the ideal man without a hint of scandal in his career.

Lee Ji Ah was also one of the most popular celebrities at the time, where she was a rising star after starring in hit dramas like The Legend and Beethoven Virus. With her elegant beauty and spunky personality, she was quickly on her way to become a household name.

A behind the scene photo of Jung Sung Woo and Lee Ji Ah during “Athena: Goddess Of War”.

On March 20, 2011, Jung Woo Sung confirmed their relationship by writing a heartfelt message to his fan site. The news was breaking for Korean fans because this was the first time Jung Woo Sung was dating a celebrity!

“Hello This is Jung Woo Sung.

I have a new friend who I started dating after filming a drama together.”

— Jung Woo Sung

Fans congratulated the power couple and everything seemed to be going well for the beautiful couple. But then, suddenly.. something happened that turned everything upside down.

Lee Ji Ah’s Shocking Past Gets Revealed

The scandal broke on April 21, 2011, a month after Jung Sung Woo’s announcement.

Multiple news sites reported that Lee Ji Ah was in the middle of a lawsuit over alimony and an asset division with a secret ex-husband. The secret husband was none other than Seo Taiji, the legendary rock and pop musician who is credited in creating K-Pop as a genre.

The whole nation was shocked to hear that Lee Ji Ah and Seo Taiji were once married, as there was no link connecting the two prior to the news release.

News report breaking the news of Lee Ji Ah and Seo Taiji’s marriage.

In 1993, Lee Ji Ah was studying abroad in the States when she met Seo Taiji through an acquaintance at a concert in LA. The two fell in love and began a long-distance relationship while Seo Taiji flew back and forth from Korea, where he continued to promote with his group, Seo Taiji and Boys.

In 1996, Seo Taiji announced his retirement from the industry and flew to the States, where he married Lee Ji Ah a year later in Las Vegas. They were married for 9 years.

They were able to keep their marriage a secret for almost a decade because of Seo Taiji’s famous personality of keeping his private life absolutely hidden away from the public.

In 2006, Lee Ji Ah filed for a divorce and Seo Taiji returned back to South Korea. The divorce was finalized in the same year.

Lee Ji Ah’s official documents, filing for divorce.

Their shocking past was leaked to the public when Lee Ji Ah filed a 5.5 billion won ($5.1 million USD) lawsuit against Seo Taiji for alimony and division assets in 2011. She also revealed in her lawsuit that she suffered psychologically because of Seo Taiji’s heavily guarded life.

The lawsuits became messy over the following months after it became public as they each contested the others’ claims. Lee Ji Ah and Seo Taiji finally reached a settlement in July 2011.

The netizens were surprised that Lee Ji Ah had kept a secret for so long and began questioning if she was able to land such accredited roles only because of her contact with Seo Taiji.

Lee Ji Ah’s rising fame came to an abrupt halt as she was pulled from various endorsements and halted all activities for the time being.

The Aftermath Of The Shocking Scandal

Around the same time when the scandal was revealed to the public, Key East Entertainment announced that Jung Woo Sung and Lee Ji Ah had broken up.

For years, Jung Woo Sung and Lee Ji Ah remained silent about the breakup. He finally broke his silence in December 2012 when he was questioned about the breakup on MBC’s Knee Drop Guru.

He revealed that he actually knew about Lee Ji Ah’s previous marriage shortly before the report came out. He explained that Lee Ji Ah confessed everything during their date in France.

He had only kept silent after the scandal because he thought it was the most courteous and considerate thing he could do for Lee Ji Ah. He revealed that he has no hard feelings towards her and was empathetic towards her and the hardships she faced.

Two years after Jung Sung Woo’s TV appearance, Lee Ji Ah appeared on SBS’s Healing Camp to tell her side of the story. She confirmed that all of the rumors about their marriage were true.

She went into detail about how she felt while being married to Seo Taiji, who preferred to live secludedly, and she also clarified the rumors that she only became a top actress thanks to nepotism.

She explained that Seo Taiji’s former manager was a brother of actor Bae Yong Joon, which gave her the opportunity to audition for her breakout debut in MBC’s The Legend. 

She finally concluded her story by expressing her sorrow and regrets about her relationship with Jung Woo Sung. She wished him all the luck in the future.

With that, the shocking scandal involving three of the most legendary stars in the Korean entertainment industry finally quieted down.

Seo Taiji has gone on to farther promote as a musician and is currently happily married with a child. Jung Woo Sung continues to star in some of the hottest blockbusters like “The King”, and Lee Ji Ah has slowly made her way back into acting through drama and film.

Source: Sports Donga, Wikitree, M Wave and Korea JoongAng Daily

History of K-Pop Scandals