Actor Lee Byung-hun has been cleared of defamation charges filed against him in March by baseball player-turned-TV personality Kang Byung-kyu.
The Seoul Central Prosecutors' Office ruled Thursday that Lee is "not guilty" of defaming Kang who had claimed he was wrongly accused of his involvement in a feud between the actor and his ex-girlfriend identified by her last name Kwon.
A legal dispute between the former couple had fired up when Kwon lodged a complaint to court saying she was allured into having a sexual relationship with the actor on his false promises of marriage and demanded she be compensated for physical and psychological damage.
Lee too had filed a suit against Kwon as well as Kang, who according to Lee's legal representatives, was behind those who had demanded for money in exchange for exposing details of the actor's personal life.
Prosecutors sided with Lee, indicting Kang in mid-March for defamation and attempted blackmail against the actor. An angered Kang had then countersued Lee for defamation.
"Kang failed to provide detailed testimonies on how Lee marred his reputation and Lee denied the charges through paper so we were not able to find any definite evidence," the prosecutors office explained.
Accordingly, the legal dispute surrounding the two celebrities can be considered concluded.
Kang has also been indicted for his alleged involvement in an assault case on the set of "Iris" -- then starring Lee -- which he visited in mid-December over talk that Chung Tae-won, chief of Taewon Entertainment and producer of the hit show, had spread false rumor that he was behind the feud between Lee and Kwon.
Kang also has a suspended jail term which he received in February for habitually gambling through online gambling sites.
Reporter : Ko Kyoung-seok kave@
Editor : Jessica Kim jesskim@
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