Hey, that’s Lee Byung Hun! Yes, it’s not PSH.
At the press conference on July 24, 2015, to launch his new film “Memories of the Sword” which is opening on August 13, Lee Byung Hun bowed and apologized “deeply” for that blackmail incident last year. This was LBH’s first official public appearance.
When LBH and his wife returned to Korea in the early hours of February 26 from Los Angeles, he apologized as soon as he emerged in the arrivals area of Incheon International Airport. This was his first appearance in Korea after having been away for 3 months in the U.S.A., presumably to avoid the blackmail controversy.
When PSH returned to Korea from the U.S.A. early on October 5, 2013 (after also having been away for more than 3 months), he didn’t say a single word at Incheon, even though he was swarmed by reporters.
An OBS TV EXCLUSIVE — video of PSH’s return to Seoul in the early morning of October 5, 2013
On October 3, 2013, PSH’s management agency through a press release by his brother said: “As the representative of his agency, I would like to deeply apologize for his causing social controversy.”
“Park Si Hoo has made acting his vocation.” and “Park Si Hoo has received a lot of love and encouragement which he greatly appreciated as well as rebuke and criticism which he humbly accepted. He will learn from this to try to be a role model and to be reborn as a better actor.”
So PSH didn’t actually apologize, not personally. Why should he? (when he hasn’t done anything wrong.) At that time we admired his stiff backbone (骨氣). But now with the wisdom of hindsight, we wonder if perhaps he has missed the perfect opportunity to meet the requisite comeback requirement in Korea, that is, make a public apology.
The cases of the two friends* are somewhat similar. [* PSH was invited to LBH’s sister’s wedding a few years ago, so he must have been more than a mere acquaintance, since the wedding was not a big public affair. Of course that was before he became persona non grata.] Both LBH and PSH are victims of scheming women: LBH was blackmailed by a model and a member of a girl group; PSH was set a honey trap and accused of sexual assault to which he countersued for defamation and extortion. LBH was the plaintiff in his case, and PSH received a “non-suspicion” ruling with the dismissal of his case when the girl withdrew her charges.
But in Korea justice seems to have nothing to do with the outcome of a case. Once a person’s reputation is sullied, especially if he is a public figure, it is very difficult for him to resume his career and life.
LBH is luckier than PSH (perhaps because he is a bigger star) in that he now has a wife, a son, a new home, a new Korean movie, and (we read somewhere) another Hollywood movie under his belt. After he has made two public apologies, he is on track to being back in the good graces of the Korean public.
PSH, however, has no wife or son, but he also has a new home (in Buyeo) and a new joint-venture Chinese/Korean movie “Love After Love” coming out next month (at least that’s how it was advertised earlier.) So how come we have this dreadful feeling that something may be wrong because he has not been heard from in two whole months?
(Credits: www.osen.co.kr.; http://news.naver.com; www.sportsseoul.com. Thanks!)