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Mature actress defends her troubled mother

By Kang Hyun-kyung

Actress Lee Mee-sso, daughter of actress Kim Bu-seon, sided with her mom who is thrust in an unwanted spotlight for her past affair with the ruling Democratic Party of Korea Gyeonggi Governor candidate Lee Jae-myung.

In an Instagram post on Monday, Lee, 29, said she saw photos featuring her mom with the politician while sorting through her graduation photos.

"I had thought of what to do with the photos as I knew my mom was looking for them. After a while, I decided to destroy them," she wrote. "(Lee) is trying to paint my mom as a liar because of the forthcoming election. I deleted the evidence that could support my mom's relationship with him is true but I think the offender should prove there was no such thing as an affair if he wants to claim that."

Actress Lee Mee-soo, the daughter of Kim Bu-seon / Courtesy of Lee Mee-sso

Lee's social media post came a day after her mother Kim admitted in a TV interview that she had an affair with the politician. Kim said she had photos proving their relationship but there were none remaining.

The politician, however, denied this and said his camp won't issue a separate press release countering her claim.

In the post, actress Lee said she used to criticize her mother harshly but decided to side with her mom this time because her mother is telling the truth.

Actress Lee also revealed her feelings about being the daughter of someone involved in a "scandal."

"I hated my mom because she has always been at the center of controversy, so I kept criticizing her for what she had done," she wrote. "I still don't like what my mom did. But this time, I decided to act differently because I don't want to turn a blind eye to her in undue criticism. I came to gather the courage to disclose what I know because if I keep silent about it and pretend not to know anything about their relationship, I felt I would no longer be proud of myself."

Lee is Kim's only child and was raised by her single mother.

Since she debuted in the 1983 film rated "No Under 19s," Kim has led an eventful life.

She served an eight-month jail term in 1989 after smoking cannabis once in 1986. Later she teamed up with activists to campaign for cannabis, claiming it should not be a prohibited drug. But her voice was not heard.

After decades out of the spotlight, Kim's name surfaced in the media again in 2014 when she was indicted for defaming her neighbors during a hearing related to corruption allegations involving apartments heating bills. She was fined 3 million won for using physical force on her neighbors.

In a 2012 TV appearance, Kim said her daughter suffered the consequences of her "scandalous" life and Lee was bullied by classmates whenever her mother caused trouble.

The younger Lee said her mother helped her mature earlier than her peers.

In April, Kim disclosed her daughter's handwritten letter for her on social media.

Lee advised her mother to keep silent about her affair and said her mother had nothing to gain even if it was disclosed.

"I think the most stupid people are those who speak openly about their loved ones after their relationships end," it read. "Mom, never speak about it to others. Forgive him and pray for him. Life is short and it goes away like a dream or dust. Please Mom, don't make yourself a laughing stock."


LETTER