When the bedroom becomes the batting cageMovies are filled with baseball bat scenes. Robert De Niro as Al Capone used a Louisville Slugger to cleave a traitor’s skull in “The Untouchables.” As an aging ballplayer, Robert Redford swung his glorious homemade Wonderboy in “The Natural.” And Morgan Freeman, playing a tough principal, twirled a mean bat to keep order in his ghetto high school in “Lean on Me.”
Those memories are make-believe. In real life Sunday night in Seoul, a baseball bat made an appearance in the bedroom of Lee Kyeong-sil, 37, one of Korea’s most popular comediennes. If what happened is ever made into a movie, it will surely have an unhappy ending.
Ms. Lee’s husband, Son Gwang-gi, 37, reportedly used Ms. Lee’s body for batting practice, breaking three of her ribs and shattering her pelvis.
Mr. Son reportedly was on his way home Sunday after having drinks. In one bedroom, he allegedly picked up a wooden baseball bat that he had given his 5-year-old son as a gift, even though the bat was a model meant, police said, for teenagers.
Ms. Lee, who police said was resting on the bed at the time, evidently awoke quickly as wood connected with bone. She fled to her apartment building’s security office. The beefy Mr. Son reportedly gave chase and, dropping the bat along the way, took to kicking his wife. (Police said he was not wearing baseball cleats).
In the fray, Ms. Lee somehow managed to call police and the fracas ended.
Refusing to press charges, she went straight to a hospital, where doctors say she needs at least four weeks to heal.
Mr. Son spent the remainder of the night and much of the following morning cruising Seoul. In phone interviews, he told reporters how sorry he was, but that he had his reasons for swinging the bat. He insisted that Ms. Lee was having an affair with a businessman. Ms. Lee denied the accusations, calling Mr. Son “morbidly suspicious.”
Ms. Lee changed her mind Tuesday and told police she wanted to take action against her husband. On Tuesday night, Mr. Son was arrested and is now being held at Yongsan Police Station. A source at Seoul District Court said yesterday that the arrest warrant is under review.
Ms. Lee was seemingly the last married woman Koreans expected to be battered by her husband. She wed Mr. Son, her college sweetheart, in 1992, and the couple had two children. On one of the five different television shows on three different networks that she emcees, Ms. Lee frequently told viewers how happy she was being married, even featuring her husband several times on those TV shows with her.
Mr. Son ran a restaurant, which closed last December. He was unemployed since then, police said.
Ms. Lee’s attorney said that this is not the first time Ms. Lee has been battered by her husband. It is, however, the lawyer said, the first time a baseball bat has been used.
by Chun Su-jin