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Citizens call for actress sisters' suicide case to reopen

Over 200,000 people joined an online petition calling for the investigation of actress sisters' 2009 suicide case / capture image from Cheong Wa Dae site
Over 200,000 people joined an online petition calling for the investigation of actress sisters' 2009 suicide case / capture image from Cheong Wa Dae site

By Park Jin-hai

Amid the spreading #MeToo movement, citizens are calling on the government to reopen a sexual assault case that killed two actress sisters.

Over 200,000 people signed an online petition posted on Cheong Wa Dae's website March 3, calling for investigators to reopen the case, by Monday.

In 2004, the elder sister, who worked part-time as an extra, was sexually assaulted by 12 production crewmembers who directed and supervised her work several times. After she reported it to the police, the police investigation only increased her trauma, failing to separate the victim and her assailants and asking her to draw the shapes of assailants' genitals, according to her mother, surnamed Jang.

After repeated threats from the assailants, she gave into pressure and dropped the suit in 2006. She committed suicide in August 2009. But the family tragedy didn't end there.

Her younger sister, who introduced her to the job in the first place, also committed suicide six days later. After the two daughters' deaths in a single week, their father died of a stroke.

Jang, the only surviving family member, said "Those assailants are still working in the entertainment industry. Even if my daughters will not come back to life, I want those assailants to apologize."

Citizens petitioned "Please investigate both assailants and the police" and "remove the statute of limitations clause and reopen the case."

At the same time, another actress' 2009 suicide case also came to light. Over 200,000 people signed an online petition on Cheong Wa Dae's site calling for the case to be reopened.

Jang Ja-yeon, who starred in the drama "Boys Over Flowers," committed suicide at age 29. The police investigation concluded she had been suffering from depression and ruled her death a suicide.

Her death caused a national scandal when it was claimed that she had been sexually and physically abused by a number of prominent entertainment executives during her career, and that this alleged abuse contributed to her depression. Jang left a seven-page note listing at least 31 names of media executives, CEOs and directors she claimed she was forced into having sex with.

Although the case made a big stir in the country, only 10 people whose names appeared on the list were investigated, though they were later cleared of the charges.



Over 200,000 people joined an online petition calling for the investigation of actress sisters' 2009 suicide case / capture image from Cheong Wa Dae site
Over 200,000 people joined an online petition calling for the investigation of actress sisters' 2009 suicide case / capture image from Cheong Wa Dae site

By Park Jin-hai

Amid the spreading #MeToo movement, citizens are calling on the government to reopen a sexual assault case that killed two actress sisters.

Over 200,000 people signed an online petition posted on Cheong Wa Dae's website March 3, calling for investigators to reopen the case, by Monday.

In 2004, the elder sister, who worked part-time as an extra, was sexually assaulted by 12 production crewmembers who directed and supervised her work several times. After she reported it to the police, the police investigation only increased her trauma, failing to separate the victim and her assailants and asking her to draw the shapes of assailants' genitals, according to her mother, surnamed Jang.

After repeated threats from the assailants, she gave into pressure and dropped the suit in 2006. She committed suicide in August 2009. But the family tragedy didn't end there.

Her younger sister, who introduced her to the job in the first place, also committed suicide six days later. After the two daughters' deaths in a single week, their father died of a stroke.

Jang, the only surviving family member, said "Those assailants are still working in the entertainment industry. Even if my daughters will not come back to life, I want those assailants to apologize."

Citizens petitioned "Please investigate both assailants and the police" and "remove the statute of limitations clause and reopen the case."

At the same time, another actress' 2009 suicide case also came to light. Over 200,000 people signed an online petition on Cheong Wa Dae's site calling for the case to be reopened.

Jang Ja-yeon, who starred in the drama "Boys Over Flowers," committed suicide at age 29. The police investigation concluded she had been suffering from depression and ruled her death a suicide.

Her death caused a national scandal when it was claimed that she had been sexually and physically abused by a number of prominent entertainment executives during her career, and that this alleged abuse contributed to her depression. Jang left a seven-page note listing at least 31 names of media executives, CEOs and directors she claimed she was forced into having sex with.

Although the case made a big stir in the country, only 10 people whose names appeared on the list were investigated, though they were later cleared of the charges.



Park Jin-hai jinhai@koreatimes.co.kr

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