ENTERTAINMENT

Rhee Keun sues Kim Yong-ho while assault victim demands end to mention of the case

By Song Seung-hyun
  • Published : Oct 14, 2020 - 15:01
  • Updated : Oct 14, 2020 - 18:39

Picture posted by Rhee on Wednesday after he was accused of committing a violent crime back in 2015. (Rhee Keun's Instagram)
Rhee Keun, also known as Ken Rhee, sued YouTube content creator Kim Yong-ho on Wednesday for claiming that Rhee lied about having worked at the United Nations.

Kim raised suspicions about the document that Rhee, popularly known as “Lt. Lee,” posted on Instagram on Monday as proof of his stint at the UN. An earlier video by Kim had raised questioned about Rhee’s career record.

Rhee sued Kim on charges of obstruction, defamation and dissemination of false information at around 11 a.m. on Wednesday through his lawyer and presented documents as evidence for his time at the UN. The lawyer said that Rhee is considering taking legal action against Kim for other claims that he has made against him as well as the press that have been releasing malicious news about him.

Kim on Tuesday also claimed that Rhee was charged with battery in 2015, while he was drunk.

This is the third time that Rhee’s past has come under scrutiny since he gained popularity for appearing on the YouTube variety show “Fake Men” as “Lt. Lee,” a high-profile training instructor. Rhee, who served in Korea’s Navy Special Warfare Flotilla, the Korean equivalent of the US Navy Seals, made inroads into the terrestrial TV networks, appearing on major entertainment programs, including MBC’s talk show “Radio Star.”

At the beginning of this month, Rhee was hit by a debt scandal after a man accused Lee of not paying back 2 million won ($1,700). This incident was settled after Lee and the man both stated that they met in person and resolved the debt issue, saying there had been a misunderstanding between the two.

However, Rhee once again became embroiled in controversy following an allegation that he was convicted for a 2017 sexual assault. Rhee, on Tuesday, acknowledged that he was fined 2 million won ($1,700) after being convicted of grabbing a woman’s bottom. But he claimed that he had not commited any sexual crime and that he had filed an appeal, which the court dismissed. The court at the time said it was rejecting the appeal due to the gravity of the crime and also the fact that the victim was not willing to forgive Rhee.

In a statement released through a lawyer on Wednesday, the victim of the sexual assault asked Rhee and anyone else to refrain from spreading false facts and making defamatory and insulting remarks concerning the case.

“I am greatly shocked that the offender (Rhee Keun) distorted the facts and the legal decision and released a statement claiming false facts,” the statement said.

The victim also claimed that she had never told anyone about the case and worked hard to forget the attack, thinking that Rhee would live in remorse.

With Rhee finding himself in a string of controversies, some advertisements that feature Rhee have been taken down by a number of companies.

Local burger chain Lotteria, which launched a new military-style hamburger set using Rhee as its main spokesmodel, took down all its YouTube advertisement videos featuring Rhee and also switched posters featuring Rhee with ones featuring an animated character.

Game company PearlAbyss also took down its advertisement for its updated mobile game “Black Desert M” that featured Rhee.

After the debt scandal broke out, KB Savings Bank removed a poster including Rhee posted on the company’s Instagram account.

Despite the controversies swirling around him, Rhee continued using his social media account, posting a photo of himself enjoying a drink with a cat on his lap slightly past midnight on Wednesday.

By Song Seung-hyun and Lim Jang-won (ssh@heraldcorp.com, ljw@heraldcorp.com)


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