Minister told to take paternity test

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Minister told to take paternity test

Minister of Environment Lee Maan-ee will take a paternity test on Oct. 28, after a woman filed a lawsuit arguing that she is his daughter, the Seoul Family Court said yesterday.

According to the court, the Korean woman with U.S. citizenship said that Lee, 64, met her mother in the 1970s and that she became pregnant by Lee. The apparent daughter filed a lawsuit in 2008 and requested that he take a DNA test in order to prove her relation with him.

At a trial in September 2009, Lee denied being the father of the woman, saying, “I cannot follow the request of a woman who appears suddenly for the first time in 30 years, asking me for a paternity test.”

But the court ruled in favor of the woman, saying, “the woman could be seen as his daughter in context that the woman was born while her mother was meeting him and he has constantly resisted to conduct the paternity test.”

It was stated in the first trial that the woman’s mother, surnamed Jin, met Lee in 1971 and was in a relationship for about three years.

In 1975, Lee married his current wife.

One month after his marriage, Jin gave birth to the supposed daughter of Lee. Jin sued him for adultery in 1975 but Lee denied the charges.

After Lee lost the trial in 2009, Lee officially apologized for his lack of morality, but said he would not accept the woman as his daughter.

“It is true that I committed an inappropriate affair in my 20s, but I cannot accept what she said and the test, because the matter is related to my family,” Lee told reporters in 2009.

He appealed for a second trial, but the court ordered him to take the test.

The test will be carried out at the ministry’s office in the government complex in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi, by the legal staff of Seoul National University.

After the test results come in, the court will make a final decision.

The results of a DNA test usually take 10 days.

Lee, who was appointed environment minister in 2008, has one son and three daughters with his wife.


By Kim Hee-jin [heejin@joongang.co.kr]

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