Pop icon Seo Tai-ji on Wednesday denied the claims by his ex-wife Lee Ji-ah that he trapped her in a marriage that cut her off from her family and other human contact.
Lee said on a TV talk show on Monday that she had to stop keeping in touch even with her family for fear that their marriage might become public knowledge.
Seo's production firm Seo Tai-ji Company in a press release said the singer first met Lee when she was a teenager in 1993, "but it was not until three years later, when Seo retired and moved to the U.S., that their relationship developed into romance."
It said the marriage "was registered in October 1997 when she was an adult."
The couple invited both of their parents, families and friends to their house "and spent time with all of them. Many of our acquaintances knew of our relationship and marriage. It is just that we did not make it public in the media," Seo added.
Responding to Lee's statement that she could not contact her family for seven years after she married Seo, Seo said, "It's true that at one point in time she didn't keep in touch with her parents, but only she can answer why."
Lee earlier said her marriage meant a completely secluded life. "The kind of love I'd chosen had to be hidden from everyone, even from a squirrel that came down from the mountains," she said on the talk show.
But Seo said the couple traveled, went shopping, and ate out in the U.S. "The whole reason why we lived in the U.S. was because so we could have that freedom."
Lee and Seo divorced in 2006 and Seo remarried actress Lee Eun-sung in June last year.