Lee Ji-ah Withdraws Alimony Suit Against Seo Tai-ji

Seo Tai-ji (left) and Lee Ji-ah Seo Tai-ji (left) and Lee Ji-ah

A legal dispute between Korean music legend Seo Tai-ji and actress Lee Ji-ah over alimony and division of assets has come to an end a mere 10 days since the divorce scandal erupted. Lee on Saturday withdrew her lawsuit seeking W500 million in alimony and a W5 billion share of Seo's assets (US$1=W1,069).

Lee's legal representative said in a press release she decided to withdraw her suit "because not only she but those close to her were suffering from severe stress from invasion of privacy since news of her marriage and divorce became known."

Responding to reports that the lawyers of both sides agreed Seo will pay Lee around W1 billion, the actress wrote on her website Sunday that she had withdrawn her lawsuit but no settlement had been reached. 

Seo made his first official comment on the dispute about an hour before Lee's lawyer announced her decision. "We began our life as a married couple on Oct. 12, 1997, but soon realized that our personalities and our future plans are different," he said in a statement. "So we separated in June 2000." He said their marriage officially ended on Aug. 9, 2006 according to a U.S. court decision.

The fact that the two events happened around the same time has fanned speculation that the two sides reached some kind of agreement. Although the lawsuit has been dropped, the question remains why Lee, who had just started a romantic relationship with actor Jung Woo-sung, risked not only the relationship but her acting career by filing the suit.

englishnews@chosun.com / May 02, 2011 10:17 KST