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Gang leader indicted for threatening actor

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Feb 07,2007
Because movie star Kwon Sang-woo refused to meet fans in Japan, former gang boss Kim Tae-chon, 59, threatened to turn his house into “a sea of blood,” Seoul prosecutors said yesterday.
Prosecutors indicted Mr. Kim on charges of threatening the actor. They also indicted and detained Baek Chang-joo, 28, Mr. Kwon’s manager, on charges of blackmailing the actor to sign a two-year contract with him.
Mr. Kim led the Beomseobangpa, one of the country’s three major criminal gangs, in the 1970s. He spent a total of 18 years in prison and was released in 2005.
According to the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office, Mr. Kim was asked by a friend, a former member of a Japanese gang, to help organize a meeting of Mr. Kwon’s fans in Japan. Mr. Kim started calling Mr. Kwon’s cell phone in April of last year, saying he wanted to visit the actor’s house.
In one phone call, Mr. Kim told the actor he knew his address, prosecutors said. “I could turn your house into a sea of blood tomorrow,” Mr. Kim said, according to prosecutors, who said the actor recorded the conversation and submitted the records when he filed a complaint.
Mr. Kwon also filed a criminal complaint against his manager, Mr. Baek, arguing he was blackmailed into signing a two-year contract.
Mr. Kwon claimed his manager threatened to disclose details about the actor’s private life ― which he did not specify ― unless he signed the contract.
“The indictment is completely false,” Mr. Baek said in a statement. “I will fight for my innocence.”
The actor eventually wrote a promise in November 2005 that he would let Mr. Baek take full charge of his management and would pay 1 billion won ($1.7 million) if he broke the pledge, prosecutors said.
Mr. Kwon, 30, began working as a model. He became famous acting in the popular Korean drama “Stairway to Heaven.” Mr. Kwon has also acted in movies, including “My Tutor Friend” in 2003 and “Love So Divine” in 2004, in which he played a Catholic priest.


By Kim Jong-moon(JoongAng Ilbo)/ Kim Soe-jung(Staff Writer)[soejung@joongang.co.kr]



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