Korean Air Chairman's Wife in Latest Tantrum Scandal

  • By Gwak Rae-geon

    April 24, 2018 13:16

    Korean Air chairman Cho Yang-ho's wife has allegedly become the latest member of his dysfunctional family to be caught out in a bizarre tantrum.

    A video clip that surfaced online Monday shows a woman who is purportedly Cho's wife Lee Myung-hee turning on construction workers in a blind rage and shoving one violently out of the way while another tries to intervene.

    The anonymous source who provided the video to a media outlet said the woman is Lee.

    The clip was recorded in May 2014 at a construction site for the Grand Hyatt Incheon, which belongs to KAL Hotel Network, a subsidiary of Cho's Hanjin Group, and uploaded in a chat room for KAL staff to tip the media off about the owner family's abuses.

    In the one-and-a-half-minute clip, the woman kicks objects on the ground and points her finger at standing workers. Then she jerks a female worker's hand and keeps shoving her back. A male worker who tries to stop her is then also being harangued by the woman, who snatches a bundle of documents he is holding and throws them on the floor.

    The workers were identified as staff of a subcontractor in charge of landscaping for the hotel. 

    A woman, purportedly Korean Air chairman Cho Yang-ho's wife Lee Myung-hee (center), pushes a female worker while a male worker tries to stop her at a construction site in Incheon in May 2014, in this clip posted online Monday.

    Korean Air hedged its bets. A spokesman said it is "difficult for us to identify who it was as the situation in the video is not related to the company."

    Police are investigating Lee for assault.

    The latest scandal comes only a week after Cho's younger daughter Hyun-min made headlines with allegations that she is prone to screaming fits that culminated in her throwing a water bottle in the face of an advertising staffer, and days after the owner family were accused of habitually smuggling luxury goods into the country.

    The Korea Customs Service on Monday raided the offices of several Hanjin affiliates including Hanjin Travel for alleged excise tax evasion. Cho Hyun-min was CEO at Hanjin Travel until she was fired from all her posts.

    The KCS also raided her home in Seoul and the Korean Air office at Incheon International Airport on Saturday. "Now we'll look into transactions between Korean Air and foreign companies over allegations of smuggling luxury goods disguised as aircraft parts," a customs spokesman said.

    The Cho family has had a terrible few years. The "nut rage" scandal involving the older daughter, Cho Hyun-ah, made her a global laughing stock in 2014 and saw her convicted of assault, while Hanjin Shipping went spectacularly bankrupt last year.

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