BUSAN: Public Pressure Forces Top Star to Shun BIFF Spotlight

Lee Byung hun Skips BIFF
Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

BUSAN — Popular Korean actor Lee Byung-hun, normally a regular on the BIFF red carpet, was conspicuously absent at the opening ceremony Thursday night due to his ongoing sex and blackmail scandal.

The aggressive social media scene in South Korea has exploded with the sordid “he-said, she-said, wife-said” presumptions in a case still being sorted out by authorities.

The 44-year-old star (“G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” “RED 2”) made headlines this week after filing a police report for being blackmailed by two women who claimed to have compromising video footage of Lee making sexually explicit remarks to them. The women have been detained on conspiracy charges.

Lee, married to another Korean star, Lee Min-jung, is the victim in the eye of the law, but public opinion criticizing his “immoral” actions has been severe.

Online petitions have been launched demanding his ousting from the industry including a ban at BIFF. Lee is the face of a Samsung cell phone advert, an online shopping mall, a casino, as well as Nescafe. One company, SSG, has removed pictures of Lee from its online advertising since the petitions began.

Lee stars in two forthcoming Korean movies “Memories of the Sword” (Lotte) and “The Insiders” (Showbox) and he has a supporting role in Paramount’s “Terminator: Genisys.” Lotte and Showbox are currently adjusting the release dates.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading