The court ruled that Choi Jong-beom, who was convicted of assaulting and threatening the late singer Goo Ha-ra, should pay alimony to the bereaved family.
According to the legal circles on Oct 12th, in the damage claim lawsuit filed by Goo’s bereaved family against Choi, Judge Park Min of the Civil Affairs Division 9 of the Seoul Northern District Court recently ruled partially in favor of the plaintiff, saying, “Choi should pay a total of 78 million won to the bereaved family.”
Choi was handed over to trial on charges of assault and threatening Goo and was sentenced to one year in prison by the Supreme Court in October 2020. However, Choi was also indicted on charge of illegal filming, but he was found not guilty on this.
Goo’s bereaved family filed a total of 100 million won alimony suit against Choi in July 2020, when Choi was sentenced to prison in the second trial and arrested in court, claiming, “Goo suffered severe mental pain due to Choi’s threats and coercion, which eventually led to suicide.”
The court ruled that Choi’s threats and other illegal actions caused great mental pain to Goo Ha-ra, leading to an extreme choice. In particular, the court said, “Choi threatened Goo by exploiting her enormous sexual shame and the fact that she would not be able to further her entertainment activities if a video of her, a famous female entertainer, was circulated. It must have caused mental pain.”
They also added, “Compared to the past, when she started her career as a celebrity at a young age and achieved considerable success, Goo seemed to have reached a point where she has lost all hope and motivation for the future.” It is the judge’s judgment that Choi continued his illegal activities in full knowing that Goo could make extreme choices, they stated.
In the end, the court ruled that “Goo’s death due to Choi’s illegal acts caused considerable mental suffering to the plaintiffs, who are family members of the Goo family. He is responsible for compensating for the mental damage suffered by Goo and the plaintiffs.”
Roh Jong-eon, a lawyer at S Law Firm and legal representative for the bereaved family, said,“The highest level of alimony was recognized based on the amount of mental damage normally recognized by the court. I am glad that the court viewed Choi’s crime as extremely bad. In the long run, we hope that the court will increase the degree of alimony in such a situation.”