Anyone who knows anything about the K-Pop industry knows that it is just that, an industry. Sure, there’s some talent out there, but much like a shiny new Kia on the showroom floor, stars are literally made; shined and polished, tweaked and perfected, groomed and garnished, over the course of several long years, in one of the music factories located around Seoul.
And, as the occasional car will roll off the lot with a defect, so too does the occasional pop product.
Case in point: 20-year-old singer Dahee, member of K-Pop girl group GLAM, along with an as yet unnamed counterpart, thought it wise to blackmail movie star Lee Byung-hun—a man who is arguably South Korea’s most recognizable male face after PSY and Old Boy star, Choi Min Sik.
Early this morning Korean news outlets across the country reported that two women were being investigated by authorities on charges of blackmailing Lee. Later in the afternoon media then reported that police revealed one of the pair was Dahee and another woman in her 20’s.
Apparently, the two told Lee that if he didn’t cough up $5 million, they would release a smartphone video clip, recorded during a night of drinking at his place last month, of the three exchanging lewd jokes.
That’s right, they were betting the fame farm on a lewd joke scandal.
Lee’s agency, BH Entertainment, said in a press release that he met the women through a friend and that he “partially admitted” to the charges.
The police have yet to find any videos, so as yet we still have no smoking gun—not that the exchange of lewd messages is that big a deal in a world where criminal prosecutors insist on exchanging lewd gestures with strangers on the street.
Lee didn’t think it was such a big deal either. He contacted police on August 28th and the two would be blackmailers were arrested on September 1st.
BH Entertainment released a statement saying:
“Lee Byung-hun was blackmailed by people who threatened they would release personal videos and demanded billions of KRW from him. Even though celebrities often get these ridiculous threats and demands, he thought this had crossed the line and told the label immediately and reported them.”
GLAM’s label confirmed that Dahee was involved in the case and that they are, for the moment, unsure of her whereabouts.
“Currently, we are unable to contact her. Since it is a personal matter, we don’t really know the details.”
If wishing only made it so.
Lee has been involved in his share of scandals involving women over the years, including actress Song Hye Kyo, as well as a legal battle with a Korean-Canadian gymnast several years back over alleged sexual misconduct and gambling allegations.
Lee married actress Lee Min Jung in 2013 and was portrayed as having settled down. One can only imagine the discussion in the Lee household this evening as to what he meant when he “partially admitted” to the allegations.
So, for now, no smoking gun, no Dahee and no face for the accomplice. Of one thing we’re all clear: Dahee’s career is more than likely done and Lee Byun-hun will be appearing soon on a screen near you.
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