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Lee Byun Hun's Blackmailers Receive Suspended Sentences

BY Julie Jones | Mar 26, 2015 12:05 PM EDT


The final hearing in the appeals case concerning Lee Byung Hun's convicted blackmailers took place on March 26. The initial trial, which reached a verdict in January 2015, resulted in prison sentences for the blackmailers, GLAM's Kim Da Hee and model Lee Ji Yeon. Kim Da Hee and Lee Ji Yeon appealed the verdict. But at the appeals trial the prosecution called for even stiffer sentences.

However, Lee Byung Hun wrote to the court and asked that the women be pardoned as he felt that they were sufficiently repentant for trying to blackmail him.

In August 2014, they threatened to release a video of the married actor engaged in a sexually explicit conversation if he did not pay them $5 million. He reported them to the police and they were arrested. They tried to defend their actions by claiming that Lee Byung Hun was having an affair with Lee Ji Yeon and the blackmail was an emotional retaliation for his breaking off the affair. He denied that he had an affair with Lee Ji Yeon.

According to a statement by the appeals court, Lee Byung Hun's wishes for leniency in sentencing were taken into consideration.

"The victim expressed his wishes for the defendants to be let off the hook, and the crime ended before it progressed into something more. In addition, the defendants also showed that they have deeply reflected on the wrongdoing during the six months they were detained. Since they are both first time offenders and of a young age, we determined that the original sentence was too heavy."

Both women have sent multiple letters of apology to the court.

At the first trial Kim Da Hee received a year's sentence with Lee Ji Yeon being sentenced to a year and two months. In the appeals trial, the prosecution asked for three-year-sentences. The prosecution said that the women did not seem repentant and had targeted the actor for blackmail from the onset.

The appeals court ultimately decided that the Lee Ji Yeon and Kim Da Hee would serve only suspended sentences. During that two-year probation period, if they do not get into any other kind of trouble, they won't have to serve any jail time.

Lee Byung Hun is married to actress Lee Min Jung. The couple married in 2013 and are expecting their first child this year. GLAM has disbanded.

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