Defending his wife from netizen fodder, Korean oppa Lee Seung Gi spoke up for his father-in-law Lee Hong-Heon, but added more fuel to fire instead!
Clean Image Under Threat?
With his clean image and heartthrob good looks, the singer and actor is known for being good-mannered and is one of the most well-liked celebrities in South Korea. However, his choice of life partner was frowned upon by fans due to wife Lee Da-in’s family background — her stepfather Lee Hong-Heon had been fined and imprisoned in 2014 for crimes of manipulating stock prices. Even the actor’s friend had allegedly told him to “consider his image” and break up with Lee Da-in, but the Korean heartthrob had reasoned “my wife can’t choose her parents, so why would I break up because of her parents”.
The Story from the Beginning
Responding to the rumors in 2 recent IG posts, Lee Seung Gi claimed that his parents-in-law’s embezzlement allegations in relation to 2016 BotaBio stock manipulation case are “baseless”. However, netizen discussions continued to fester, and Korea media 10Asia followed up with reports, which once again shed light on the case. but Korea media 10Asia followed up with reports, which once again shed light on the case.
When Lee Hong-Heon’s biotech firm Bota Bio started making losses in 2014; Lee Da-in’s mother Kyeon Mi-Ri and other major shareholders announced a paid-in capital increase to raise funds, and the company’s stock prices increased from 2,000 to 15,100 KRW within 5 months. In 2016, prosecutors arrested Lee Hong-Heon on suspicions that he artificially inflated its stock prices and made 2.4 billion KRW in profits.
Lee Hong-Heon was sentenced to 4 years and fined 2.5 billion KRW in the first trial. However, appeal courts later overturned the ruling and acquitted Lee; the judge allegedly stated that the fundraising process by means of a paid-in capital increase did not run afoul of the law. It turned out that Lee Hong-Heon had enlisted 13 eminent lawyers after the first trial, and one of these lawyers being an old classmate of the judge when they were studying in the judicial research and training institute!
Engaged Superstar Legal Team
A final appeal was then filed by the prosecution for a separate charge, and Lee Hong-Heon once again enlisted a superstar legal team, comprising renowned lawyer Lee In-jae, a former judge who helped his client, Samsung executive chairman Lee Jae-yong, get a reduced two-and-a-half year sentence for bribery charges. Despite the case still pending verdict at the Supreme Court, Lee Seung-Gi’s mother-in-law, Kyeon Mi-ri also told the media that Lee Hong-Heon has been acquitted – which Lee Seung Gi reiterated in his recent statement.
Rather than dying down, the saga was fanned as netizens commented that Lee Seung Gi would have done better keeping silent, since his statement provoked reporters into digging up details of the case again. Others remarked it is no wonder the rich always get off scot-free, with “specific lawyers assigned for specific judges”.