Reporter A, who reported Han Seo-hee and B.I’s drug case, testified that Han Seo-hee has been consistently threatened since 2017. However, they failed to provide a satisfying answer to the court’s question.
On the afternoon of Sep 27th, the 11th trial was held under the supervision of the 23rd Criminal Agreement Division of the Seoul Central District Court on charges of violating the law regarding the Aggravated Punishment of certain crimes (specifically retaliation and intimidation) by former YG Entertainment CEO Yang Hyun-seok. Yang Hyun-seok attended the trial, and reporter A, who reported Han Seo-hee and B.I’s drug case, was questioned as a witness.
A said that they thought YG and the police were in close contact with B.I‘s drug case, so they contacted Han Seo-hee in 2017 and decided to publish the case. A said that they had an interview with Han Seo-hee through SNS, but failed to make an article in 2017 due to Han Seo-hee’s opposition.
The court pointed out that the important details laid in whether Han Seo-hee said she was threatened by CEO Yang Hyun-seok during an interview with A in 2017. However, in 2017, there was no sentence in the transcripts that said, “It’s not hard to kill you at all.” A claimed, “The transcript was lost at the time of coverage in 2019, but the sentence remains in the original transcript.”
In the meantime, A said, “Han Seo-hee’s word continuously changes. At first, she said, ‘It’s not hard to keep you from rising in this industry,” but then changed to, ‘It’s not hard to break you,’ ‘It’s not hard to ruin you,’ and ‘It’s not hard to kill you at all.’”
The court asked why the article reported in June 2019 revised the sentence, “It’s not hard to ruin you at all,” instead of “It’s not hard to kill you at all.” A said, “Our media tends to refine those expressions to protect reporters. As Han Seo-hee’s words changed continuously, I used words that can include all those nuances,” he explained.
A claimed that Han Seo-hee appeared to have been threatened by CEO Yang Hyun-seok throughout the interrogation process. A said, “Han Seo-hee’s attitude has been consistent throughout three years. She also said several times that she was scared during her interviews with us. Han Seo-hee is someone who planned to make her debut and work in the entertainment industry. I think it’s a threat to say that he would keep her from rising in this industry.”
During the cross-examination, Yang Hyun-seok’s lawyer asked A if Han Seo-hee, who had a history of being arrested for drug use at the time, could make her debut in the entertainment industry in August 2016. A said, “Han Seo-hee cannot debut. Han Seo-hee herself knew it well, so she had a lot of worries.”
When asked, “Can the words of CEO Yang Hyun-seok, who knows about Han Seo-hee’s drug history, that said ‘I’ll ruin you’ be considered as a threat?” A said, “The timing is important. In 2016, Han Seo-hee’s drug has not been revealed yet. She was released because she was a first-time offender, and she thought she could debut if her real name wasn’t reported,” he replied.
The court also questioned whether Han Seo-hee overturned her statement about B.I was not because of threats, but rather to cover up her own drug use. A testified, “Han Seo-hee had to debut, but she said she overturned her statement because she was afraid of YG. She never said she overturned her statement for herself.”
Finally, A said that they reported Han Seo-hee and B.I’s drug case for public interest purposes, adding, “After seeing B.I’s case, I thought there was a close relationship with the police, and Han Seo-hee was a smoking gun. I didn’t report it in order to do something towards YG.”