Widowed Wife Of Singer Sues Journalist Over Implicating Her In Death Of Her Daughter

Heather Cheong, Nov. 13, 2017, 9:34 a.m.


The widow of late singer Kim Kwang-seok filed a suit and an injunction Monday against a TV journalist and her brother-in-law for implicating her in the death of her daughter 10 years ago. Seo Hae-soon lodged a defamation suit against Lee Sang-ho and his media company and against Kim Kwang-bok, her brother-in-law, seeking about 600 million won (US$536,000) in damages, her lawyer Park Hoon said in a Facebook post.

The suit comes after police said last week they found no evidence linking Seo to the death of her teenage daughter in 2007, announcing their result of a recent probe launched at the request of Lee and Kim's brother.

They have accused Seo of negligence resulting in the child's unexpected death from acute pneumonia and said she might have intended to gain sole legal rights to Kim's musical assets. Kim committed suicide in 1996 at 32.

Seo also filed for court injunctions seeking the suspension of Lee's documentary film about her late husband and a ban on any verbal or written slandering on her in relation to her daughter's death.

The film raises suspicion that his death was a murder and pegs Seo and her brother as potential suspects. Seo requested Lee pay as much as 50 million won for every screening of his film in breach of the court order.

She lodged a separate complaint with the prosecution seeking a criminal investigation into Lee and Kim for making false accusations, her lawyer said.

The case surrounding the deaths in Seo's family began two months ago, when the daughter's death was made known by local media a decade after it happened. Lee, who has long raised questions over the singer's death, called for a reinvestigation into the death of Kim's only child, Seo-yeon.

Seo has since appeared in many media interviews, flatly denying any involvement and blaming Lee for attacking her to attract publicity for his film.

The death of the famed folk rock singer in the 1990s sent shock waves through fans and the public, who loved his plaintive yet captivating vocals and sentimental lyrics that critics say portrayed individuals' sorrow and frustration at a time when the society was struggling in its early stage of democracy following rapid industrialization.

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