I've gotten a few requests for reactions to Lee Min Jung and Lee Byung Hun dating and purposely put them off because... well... Lee Byung Hun has A LOT of history that dates years back. To put it simply, Korea isn't very fond of Lee Byung Hun for his past, and many were absolutely shocked and disappointed with Lee Min Jung when she confirmed that she was indeed in a relationship with him. Her reputation will most likely not recover unless she ends the relationship.
I will try to explain what happened as best as possible because I think this is yet another great example of how corrupted the industry is and how manipulated most of what we read can be.
Lee Byung Hun's reputation took its first hit in early 2000 when the first series of 'X-Files' were released (a collection of rumors and insider info on all of the top celebrities compiled by reporters, journalists, officials and staff in the industry, etc that was accidentally leaked to the public. It became a huge issue at the time because the X-Files was meant to be used among industry insiders only, but netizens got a hold of it. A bunch of entertainment agencies sued all of the people involved because the X-Files included a list of the people that compiled it).
Anyway, I digress.
In his X-Files page, several insiders reported that he was an absolute pervert in bed and that that was largely one of the reasons why Song Hye Kyo ended her relationship with him. He allegedly had a lot of bizarre fetishes and was a huge sex addict (especially with young girls).
Many didn't put much weight on to the rumors, that is, until Lee Byung Hun visited Canada for a press event for his 'The Good, The Bad, The Weird' film and was introduced to a staff's friend named Kwon Miyeon, a 20 year old gymnast. After their initial meeting, Lee Byung Hun began hitting on her until she agreed to a relationship. He then convinced her to wrap up her life in Canada and come to Korea so that he can marry her and take care of her.
Thinking he'd keep his promise, she concluded her career as a gymnast and went to Korea. (Rumors also say Kwon Miyeon was pregnant with his child in Canada, which she aborted before coming to Korea.) Lee Byung Hun broke his promise by disappearing completely after getting her a small rental room.
Upset that she had lost everything while sacrificing her life for him, she filed a lawsuit against Lee Byung Hun for $100,000 USD. During this time, Lee Byung Hun was filming 'Iris', so CEO Jung Tae Won (Taewon Entertainment, production company behind 'Iris') realized that the scandal could blow up into something bigger and ruin the drama if they didn't take care of it immediately.
What they needed was a scapegoat, and they found it in former baseball player and TV star Kang Byung Kyu, who had a dirty image at the time for fraud and various gambling scandals. Kang Byung Kyu's girlfriend was friends with Kwon Miyeon so CEO Jung and Lee Byung Hun used that to their advantage to tell the media that Kang Byung Kyu was behind the whole thing and was actually the one controlling Kwon Miyeon, who they claimed was a sl*t looking for money.
Obviously since Kwon Miyeon was stranded in Korea with absolutely no money, she lost the case and disappeared from the media, with most thinking that Lee Byung Hun paid her off to stay quiet.
Kang Byung Kyu, however, demanded an apology for all of the lies that Lee Byung Hun was telling the media about him. CEO Jung asked Kim Seung Woo (an 'Iris' co-star who is also friends with Kang Byung Kyu) to invite Kang Byung Kyu to a meeting so that he can formally apologize to him.
What actually happened was that CEO Jung hired a bunch of men to lynch him. He had CCTV cameras running at the time so he recorded the whole thing and only released manipulated footage where it looked like Kang Byung Kyu was the one physically assaulting them when it was actually in defense.
He used the footage as media play to completely oust Kang Byung Kyu from the industry. As he already had a negative image, the media and the public easily believed the manipulation and launched a witch hunt against him, completely ruining his career and image.
Kang Byung Kyu took the case to court and stated that he was assaulted with a baseball bat first. As CEO Jung is a highly powerful man in Korea, the court was about to rule in CEO Jung's favor until Kim Seung Woo eventually stepped forward as a witness and told the truth about everything that had happened (the other staff at the scene refused to show as witnesses, as they were probably too scared of the repercussions, and stayed silent).
The court then launched an investigation into the CCTV and found that it was indeed manipulated, so Kang Byung Kyu was found innocent of all charges thanks to Kim Seung Woo's testimony.
It has done very little in recovering Kang Byung Kyu's career considering the level of influence both Lee Byung Hun and CEO Jung have on the media, so the public rarely followed what happened past the manipulation stage (netizens are well versed on it, though). Kang Byung Kyu has now dedicated his entire Twitter to talking sh*t about Lee Byung Hun and revealing dirty truths about him (he was the one that revealed Lee Byung Hun was in a relationship with Lee Min Jung before anyone else, along with several other speculations like how he's only in it to get her pregnant and leave her because he's obsessed with sleeping with young women). He's also involved in a few more lawsuits with Lee Byung Hun unrelated to the story.
Source: Naver Search
Article: Lee Byung Hun - Lee Min Jung "Wedding in January? NO! We will hold a press conference when we decide on a date"
Source: Sports Seoul via Nate
1. [+579, -86] The worth of both of them has dropped ever since they've gone public with their relationship. I used to view Lee Min Jung with a goddess image, but now I think she's just weird... Am I the only one? ㅡㅡ
2. [+287, -31] Kang Byung Kyu was spot on
3. [+256, -22] ok whatever
Other random comments:
"He'll open a press conference once he's done scoring her ㅋㅋ" (TN: X-Files mentioned that he'd shout out a score for every woman he has sex with after ejaculating on her)
"Maybe he's not done scoring her yet"
"He'll just bang her and throw her away, talks of marriage my a$$. Don't act like we don't know who Lee Byung Hun is"
"Would they really get married?... I feel like Lee Min Jung is screwing up her life.."
"Byung Kyu, you're the better man in all of this"