Recently, actress Han So Hee became the hot topic of the week when she became involved in a controversy over her mother's debt.
The whole incident started on July 18th when an anonymous person posted on an online community that Han So Hee's mother had run off with her "Gye" money. "Gye" is a form of traditional private loan fund that is popular among Koreans; members who are part of this private loan fund pitch in a set amount of money every month, then, the members take turns to take out a lump sum of the private fund each month or at a designated time.
The person who wrote the post claimed "Starting from October 2015 to August 2016, I formed a Gye with a person claiming to be the mother of a celebrity. I paid 2.45 million KRW (~2,037.33 USD) every month. I tried to conserve money so I couldn't even eat properly. The celebrity's mother ghosted when it was my turn to receive the lump sum in September 2016. I told her I was going to report her to the police and she replied." The anonymous person also posted the message conversation with the alleged mother of Han So Hee.
The anonymous poster then claimed that Han So Hee's mother has been paying back the sum of 20 million KRW (~16,630.70 USD) for the past four years. She claimed that Han So Hee's mother has been paying back only 100 thousand to 300 thousand KRW (~83 to 250 USD) every few months and still has about 9.7 million KRW (~8,000 USD) to pay back. She stated that "Han So Hee's mother said that if her daughter makes it big that she would be able to give me back my money right away so we even went to her daughter's agency in Seoul. I had a dream that I wanted to accomplish when I receive that money but now it's all ruined. I now don't care about money. I just want that person to be punished."
After this incident, Han So Hee posted an apology on her personal blog under her real name Lee So Hee. Han So Hee apologized saying "I know that that person is in a situation that won't be alleviated no matter what I say. I want to make a sincere apology to everyone who felt discomfort or were hurt by the recent incident."
In the post, actress Han So Hee revealed her unfortunate family situation. She stated "My parents divorced when I was about five and I grew up with my grandmother. I moved to Woolsan where my mother was when I went to high school but I lived with my grandmother. I turned to this profession after I graduated. I didn't interact with my mother much so I was able to hear about her debt only after I turned 20. I tried to repay my mother's debt to my best ability because she was the daughter of my grandmother and also because of the filial piety. I tried to repay the debt even before my debut."
She continued to state, "However, I found out through loaners that my mother kept borrowing money using my name as a shield but did not pay the money back. Currently, there are promissory notes signed under my name and loans under my name that I was not aware of and the debt has grown out of my control. I feel very apologetic for thinking the only solution was to pay back the money in my mother's place. I feel this was caused by my poor judgment and caused more people to be in pain. I am very sorry. I want to bow my head to apologize to all the people hurt and all the victims of the recent incident."
Meanwhile, actress Han So Hee gained her fame as she starred in the popular drama 'The World of the Married' as she played the role of the male protagonist's mistress. She was acclaimed for her acting skills and her ability to digest such a role.
Many netizens feel bad that Han So Hee was involved in such a situation and feels that she's a good daughter who wants to pay back her mother's debt just because of filial piety, while other netizens are angered by her mother who has used her daughter's name to her advantage. Netizens have commented that Han So Hee's mother doesn't deserve to be called a "mother".
"Not all parents are parents because they claimed to be parents. This reminds me of singer Jang Yoon Jung. I think the mother-daughter relationship has ended just like them. I didn't really like Han So Hee before... but now I realize that she had persevered through such hard times. I'm going to support her from now on as her fan. I wish this gets resolved well."
"This is so sad. She wasn't able to properly receive her parent's love ever since she was young. And she has to also pay back her mother's debt. I wish you can be successful and become happy."
"Ms. Han So Hee, this isn't your fault. You don't need to repay that either. It's good to see you being honest. I hope you can get better from now on."
"Parents who didn't even raise their kids but leeches off them is the worst."
"With this, Han So Hee will be freed from this pit. Her mother now can be thrown in jail. She won't need to pay back her mother's debt just because she's the biological mother. the whole nation knows about this."
"I can't believe she was paying back the debt even before her debut..."