Political scandal brings Gil Ra-im role back to spotlight

Young Na, Nov. 16, 2016, 9:38 a.m.

The snowballing political scandal involving President Park Geun-hye and her confidante Choi Soon-sil is bringing Gil Ra-im, the lead female character in the 2010 TV series “Secret Garden,” back into the limelight.

Park was accused in a news report of using a nickname to get cosmetic treatment from a local beauty salon and then not paying, even after she took office in 2013.

The nickname the president used in 2011 was that of the famous character, played by actress Ha Ji-won, according to an anonymous former staff at the salon. Gil Ra-im has become buzzword on Naver, Korea’s top search engine, since the news report by JTBC Tuesday at night.

Online users have come up with satires using pictures of Ha in the 2010 series with a news ticker superimposed carrying words ? or plays on them -- from the president’s most recent speech.

Gil Ra-im is a stuntwoman who switches bodies with an arrogant yet wealthy department store brand owner, played by Hyun Bin in “Secret Garden.” The series ended with an eye-popping national viewership share of 35.2 percent. 

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