Media mogul's brother quizzed in probe of 'casting couch' scandal

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Media mogul's brother quizzed in probe of 'casting couch' scandal

Bang Yong-hoon, inset, was summoned to the prosecution for questioning over his alleged involvement in the "Jang Ja-yeon" scandal. Captured from MBC

By Park Si-soo

Bang Yong-hoon, younger brother of the president of South Korea's highest-circulating newspaper Chosun Ilbo, was questioned by prosecutors investigating a high-profile "casting couch" scandal involving late actress Jang Ja-yeon.

Bang is the president of Koreana Hotel in central Seoul. He was subject to intensive interrogation at the Supreme Prosecutors' Office from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday that zeroed in on his involvement in the scandal. He was called in secretly.

It was Bang's first summons since the scandal erupted in 2009.

Bang is one of the figures suspected of having received sexual or recreational favors from the actress who killed herself in March 2009. She left a handwritten four-page letter containing the names of six bigwigs she was allegedly forced to have sex with and entertain.

What was found in the letter was "President Bang of Chosun Ilbo." Police took aim at the Koreana Hotel's Bang after finding other Bangs in the newspaper family had nothing to do with the case.

Police have confirmed Bang and Jang met at a dinner party hosted by Bang at an upscale Chinese restaurant in October 2007. She was reportedly there with her management agency's head who later turned out to be a frequent abuser of his agency's female entertainers. Bang is believed to have met the actress again ― at a drinking party ― in the fall of 2008.

The prosecution will wrap up the investigation soon and announce its result by the end of this month.


Bang Yong-hoon, inset, was summoned to the prosecution for questioning over his alleged involvement in the "Jang Ja-yeon" scandal. Captured from MBC

By Park Si-soo

Bang Yong-hoon, younger brother of the president of South Korea's highest-circulating newspaper Chosun Ilbo, was questioned by prosecutors investigating a high-profile "casting couch" scandal involving late actress Jang Ja-yeon.

Bang is the president of Koreana Hotel in central Seoul. He was subject to intensive interrogation at the Supreme Prosecutors' Office from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday that zeroed in on his involvement in the scandal. He was called in secretly.

It was Bang's first summons since the scandal erupted in 2009.

Bang is one of the figures suspected of having received sexual or recreational favors from the actress who killed herself in March 2009. She left a handwritten four-page letter containing the names of six bigwigs she was allegedly forced to have sex with and entertain.

What was found in the letter was "President Bang of Chosun Ilbo." Police took aim at the Koreana Hotel's Bang after finding other Bangs in the newspaper family had nothing to do with the case.

Police have confirmed Bang and Jang met at a dinner party hosted by Bang at an upscale Chinese restaurant in October 2007. She was reportedly there with her management agency's head who later turned out to be a frequent abuser of his agency's female entertainers. Bang is believed to have met the actress again ― at a drinking party ― in the fall of 2008.

The prosecution will wrap up the investigation soon and announce its result by the end of this month.


Park Si-soo pss@koreatimes.co.kr


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