Yoon Ji-oh, a colleague of the late actress Jang Ja-yeon and a witness in an investigation into Jang’s death a decade ago, urged authorities on Sunday to leave no stone unturned.
“In the past 10 years I have given 13 official testimonies. I am the only one who has testified, (and I’m) not the sole witness. I have decided to speak out about the case, because it is something I have to do as a human being, and to get to the bottom of what happened,” Yoon said at a book promotion at the National Assembly on Sunday.
Yoon wrote a book that includes accounts of sexual misconduct she witnessed where Jang was the victim, as well as Yoon’s own experiences at events where powerful figures were “entertained.” Titled “The 13th Testimony,” the book of essays was published in March.
Yoon added she did not want to regret or feel ashamed of herself for not speaking out about the mistreatment Jang went through before taking her life in 2009.
Yoon is the sole witness to date to speak out about the late Jang, raising allegations that management agency chief Kim Jong-seung orchestrated sex parties as a way of bribing businessmen, a lawmaker and powerful individuals in the media industry, among others. She also says the women were coerced into taking part.
Jang left a note behind when she died, which contained a list of prominent figures she accused of making unwanted sexual advances.
As rookie actresses, both Yoon and the late Jang signed contracts with the well-known management agency run by Kim in hopes of rising to stardom, only to be pressured to “entertain” powerful figures.
According to Yoon, she incurred a 100 million won ($88,284) penalty for breach of contract when she left the agency although she had received only 3 million won ($2,648) under the contract.
Meanwhile, Yoon alleged that Chairman Hong Seong-keun of media group MoneyToday inappropriately approached her in 2009, adding yet another high-profile figure to the list of powerful figures implicated in the misconduct.
According to Yoon, she had a brief encounter with Hong in February 2008 at a dinner arranged by Kim Jong-seung.
By Kim Bo-gyung (firstname.lastname@example.org)