Lee Byung Hun has publicly apologized for his role in the recent blackmailing scandal prior to leaving for promotional activities in California.
On Monday, October 20, the 44-year-old arrived at the Incheon Airport and stopped to speak with reporters. For the first time since the scandal broke, the G.I. Joe actor opened up about the situation saying, "I want to say that I am sorry to the many people I"ve disappointed. There are no words for the regret I truly felt when I saw that the reprimand I should have received as an individual surpassed that to spread harm on even my family."
The Iris star also directed an apology to his wife, actress Lee Min Jun, and continued, "I will work hard so that my wife will recover from the hurt she received. I will contentedly accept the reprimand that I personally deserve."
In August, Lee Byung Hun revealed to police that Da Hee from girl group Glam and model Lee Ji Yeon blackmailed the actor by threatening to release a video of the three having a "lewd" conversation unless he the two paid 5 billion won (approx. $4.8 million USD). An initial trial was held on Thursday, October 16, during which both girls admitted to the threats, but Lee Ji Yeon made new allegations of a romantic relationship with the actor. He denies any romantic liaisons took place.
The actor is currently headed to California as part of his official schedule in connection to his work as an honorary ambassador of the state's tourism bureau. While there, he is scheduled to hold meetings for future projects, including the next G.I. Joe film.
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He is scheduled to stay in the US until mid-November, but no return date has been yet confirmed, leaving a question mark over whether he will attend the second round of trials in the blackmail case.