BY Julie Jones | Dec 31, 2014 11:46 AM EST
Although model Lee Ji Yeon has already admitted to and been convicted of blackmailing actor Lee Byung Hun, her parents say she did not need money.
During the trial in which Lee Ji Yeon and her friend GLAM member Da Hee were found guilty of blackmail, her financial state was often discussed.
Lee Ji Yeon and Da Hee were convicted of asking Lee Byung Hun for $5 million with the threat that they would release a video of him engaged in an explicit sexual conversation. The women claimed that the blackmail was done in retaliation for his breaking off an affair with Lee Ji Yeon. But the prosecution denied that there was ever a relationship and said the women targeted him for blackmail from the beginning. Lee Byung Hun said he stopped socializing with the women when he realized the extent of their financial problems.
However, Lee Ji Yeon's family felt it was important to clarify that their daughter did not have any financial problems. Her family released a statement with her uncle serving as the spokesperson.
"Reports have said that Lee Ji Yeon blackmailed Lee Byung Hun because her family was poor. I was so baffled when I heard that. We may not be extremely wealthy but we are not lacking. We have always sent her spending money."
Lee Ji Yeon's uncle confirmed that the family has money, saying that his brother has two store buildings as well as an orchard.
"I took care of his real estate issues, so I know this for a fact."
And he also denied reports that Lee Ji Yeon's father was in debt because he had cancer. He was diagnosed with cancer but he had surgery in the early stages.
"Lee Ji Yeon was not in a situation where she needed to worry about money."
During the trial the prosecution said that plane tickets in Lee Ji Yeon's possession were related to her blackmail plans but the family said it was not unusual for her to have plane tickets.
"We go overseas every year with Ji Yeon. Last year we went to Turkey and we planned to go to Europe this year."
The prosecution has asked that Lee Ji Yeon and Da Hee serve three-year sentences for their crime. The verdict was delivered on Dec. 16. Lee Byung Hun is currently residing in Los Angeles with his wife, actress Lee Min Jung.
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