The CEO of popular Korean cafe chain Coffee Smith will be tried for blackmailing his female celebrity ex-girlfriend (hereafter referred to as “A”) after she told him she wanted to end their relationship.
July 11, the Seoul Central District Prosecutor’s Office revealed that the CEO, Mr. Son, will be prosecuted without detention.
According to the prosecutor’s office, Mr. Son, around late 2014, threatened to ruin his girlfriend’s career upon hearing that she wanted to break up. He threatened to release a video of her, and said, “I’ll make it so you can’t appear on television by telling everyone you’re a gold-digger who got money out of me by pretending to want to get married. If you can’t return all the money that I spent on you, then give me at least 100 million won (approximately $86,800).” As a result, between two payments, he received a total of 160 million won (approximately $139,000) from A.
Mr. Son also coerced A into returning to him various jewelry items, watches, home appliances, and designer clothes that he had given her as gifts. Between 10 instances, A handed approximately 57 items over to Mr. Son.
The threats then began again in March of last year, and continued for four months; Mr. Son told A that he spent at least 1 billion won (approximately $868,300) on her and demanded that she pay him back that amount in cash as well as return home appliances that he gave her.
This past April, A reported everything to the police, and Mr. Son is now facing charges of blackmail and attempted blackmail. Upon investigation, prosecutors found that the video Mr. Son threatened A with does not exist.