June 11, 2018 11:42
The Minjoo Party is struggling to hold on to its unassailable lead ahead of local elections Wednesday amid claims from an actress that she had an affair with its candidate for Gyeonggi Province governor.
Lee Jae-myung insists that the claims by Kim Bu-sun are part of an orchestrated mudslinging campaign by opposition parties. The spat dominated headlines over the weekend. After rumors started flying last week, Kim told KBS on Sunday that she dated Lee. But Lee says she is lying.
"I can no longer hide it or escape from it," Kim said. She added she would be "severely punished" if she lied about the affair.
The ruling party filed a lawsuit accusing the opposition of spreading false rumors, while the main opposition Korea Liberty Party demanded that Lee withdraw from the race.
Bareun Mirae Party candidate Kim Young-hwan said Lee and Kim had an affair for about nine months. Lee says he only met the actress "a few times" at political rallies and "offered advice" about raising her daughter.
But in an interview with a monthly magazine, Kim said, "Who on earth would lie about such a thing? I didn't know he was married when I met him in late 2007. When I found out I broke up with him. And it is a fact that we ran into each other at a political rally the following year. It was like a scene from a movie."
Asked why she did not speak out sooner, Kim said, "My daughter advised me not to go public about relationships with men. I always feel bad about not having taken care of my daughter properly and I didn't want to ruin her future."
Lee accuses the opposition parties of conspiring to discredit him with "dirty methods."
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