Korean celebrities face internet nagging

Online gossip sites pushing legal envelope

Korea’s celebrities are coping with Internet attention worthy of TMZ and PerezHilton.

A growing online gossipy base of fans and detractors is casting new kinds of scrutiny on celebs. Some even blame all of the gossip-mongering for a recent string of celebrity suicides.

The latest life laid bare concerns prominent TV actress Ok So-ri, who has been fighting an adultery case. After the prosecution sought incarceration for 18 months, she was this week given an 8 month suspended jail sentence by a judge who took pity after her public mauling.

Okhad made the problem worse for herself by asking the constitutional court to rule on legislation which makes adultery a criminal offense. She argued that the law, once designed to protect women in a male dominated society, is now used as a means of revenge by cheated spouses.

President Lee Myung-bak has denounced “infodemics” of rumor and innuendo and, at the time of the Choi Jin-sil suicide, senior politician Hong Joon Pyo described the country’s Internet space as “the wall of a public toilet.”

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