2 Women Charged with Blackmailing Lee Byung-hun

Lee Byung-hun Lee Byung-hun

Two women have been charged with blackmailing star actor Lee Byung-hun by threatening to publish a video clip of the actor making lewd comments at them, police in Gangnam said Tuesday.

They allegedly tried to extort W5 billion (US$1=W1,018).

One woman is a girl band member who debuted in 2012 and the other is a model. According to police, they claimed to have taken a video on their smartphone of the three drinking alcohol at the actor's home last month and exchanging lewd banter, and allegedly threatened to post it on the Internet unless Lee paid them off.

Lee reported the incident on Aug. 28 and the women were arrested early Monday morning. Police confiscated their smartphones and laptop computers and recovered the video.

Lee is apparently heard to ask the women about their sexual preferences but there was no physical contact, police said.

"One of the suspects has admitted the charges but the other refused to talk at first but eventually agreed to be investigated," a police spokesman said.

There is a controversy over where the video was taken. Lee's management agency BH Entertainment said he met the two women in a restaurant and they never came to his house for a drink.

Police initially said the video was taken at Lee's house but retracted the comments later and said they were unable to confirm the location.

Lee married actress Lee Min-jung (32) in August last year. She has not commented.

The actor apparently told his agency that he did not make any comments or behaved in any way that would make him vulnerable to blackmail.

englishnews@chosun.com / Sep. 03, 2014 10:34 KST