Deceased actress Choi Jin-shil‘s netizen tormentor (identified only as Baek, female) has been penalized with 40 million won fine ($35,000) in an appeal trial, which reverses her earlier sentencing. Baek is the netizen who slandered and harassed Choi, even calling the actress at home, before Choi committed suicide last October.
Jo Sung-min is officially ending the ugly custody battle for his and Choi Jin-shil‘s children. He gave a press conference to announce that he is giving up all claims to the children and leaving them to the care of their grandmother (Choi’s mother). Choi’s family’s lawyer was also present.
Jo has taken a public battering after he expressed his desires for a place in his children’s lives when their mother and primary caregiver committed suicide in October. He read a statement explaining that he had been accused of making a shameless grab for Choi’s money, which was never his intent. However, he recognizes that as a result of all the fighting between his side and Choi’s family’s side, many people were hurt.
Jo’s withdrawal from the matter now, he feels, is the best way to set things on the right path for Choi’s family and his children.
He’ll still be their father in name, but only in name: Jo has agreed to legally transfer the children’s guardianship to their grandmother, in accordance with the Choi family’s wishes. He’ll also withdraw any claims to power of attorney or the handling of Choi’s property.
Well. Behold the power of public opinion.
Via Star News
We’ve mostly been presented with the issue from Choi’s side, with her brother and mother speaking out to retain custody of the kids, bringing up Jo’s lackluster performance as absent dad to support their stance that he doesn’t deserve to win back his fatherly rights. While I generally feel that they’ve got a solid argument, the media has been awfully one-sided in painting Jo as evil. Now we get Jo’s perspective in a TV interview about his side of the story.
He appeared on November 18 on MBC’s PD Notebook, giving the program a 5% boost in ratings, to say that he will withdraw his claim to Choi’s inheritance. He explains that he’s fine letting Choi’s family handle her estate: “My only desire is to be a father to my children. I want to be able to see my children comfortably.” His stance is that even if he gives up a claim to Choi’s assets, he can’t give up a claim to his children.
Jo Sung-min is a baseball player and sports commentator, but he’s probably most famous for being ex-husband to the deceased Choi Jin-shil, who is now causing a stir as he attracts the ire of the Korean public for the continuing battle to claim custody of his kids.
Many have thrown their support behind Choi’s brother and mother, who are fighting to retain custody of the two children who were reportedly not even aware of their father’s existence. In fact, there’s even an online café that’s sprung up of people opposed to Jo’s taking custody of the children, and the members are organizing a candlelight vigil early next week to express their opposition. This event will take place in conjunction with a women’s organization as part of a “citizens’ campaign.” The exact details of the time and place have not yet been made public.
As of November 7, there were more than 5,720 netizens who signed their opposition, stating their displeasure with a law that would revert the children of a single parent to the ex-spouse upon the death of the caregiving parent. They accuse Jo of abusing this law to take the kids (and, presumably, Choi’s remaining estate), arguing that Jo gave up his parental rights upon his divorce, and the members plan to look deeper into Jo’s intention of adopting his children. (Question: If one must legally adopt one’s own children — Choi had won the right to register her children under her family name — doesn’t that mean that the children aren’t automatically in their father’s legal custody? *legal confusion abounds*)
The facts of the case paint Jo as a deadbeat dad who gave up all responsibility (if not legal rights) for caring for his kids four years ago. There’s also the part where he beat his ex-wife. On the other hand, he IS the children’s biological father and I’m sure there is more to any story than what the public knows.
But in any case, I’m a little in awe of the fact that citizens would take up the issue to advocate on behalf of a beloved deceased actress.
Via Sports Seoul