Samsung inheritance row gets nasty

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Samsung inheritance row gets nasty

The verbal war between Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee and his older brother Lee Maeng-hee, who says he was cheated out of his inheritance and is demanding part of Lee’s fortune, is getting fiercer.

A day after Maeng-hee released a statement through his lawyer criticizing his younger brother for “always being greedy,” the media-shy Chairman Lee talked to reporters outside the Samsung headquarters in Seocho, southern Seoul, yesterday morning, saying his older brother was “kicked out of our family a long time ago.”

“You seem to think that Maeng-hee has the same status as me, but that is hugely mistaken,” Lee said. “He is the one who sued me 30 years ago and turned our father in to President Park Chung Hee to put him in jail.”

Maeng-hee is the first son of the late Samsung founder Lee Byung-chull, and Kun-hee is the third.

The chairman continued, “He [Maeng-hee] claims he is the first son of the family but none from our family, including me, has thought so. I have never seen him appear at the regular ancestral rites.”

Regarding Lee Sook-hee, the fourth child and second daughter of the founder who has also filed a suit against Lee, the chairman said she was a beloved member of the family before getting married to a member of the Gumsung clan, which controls LG.

After the marriage, Lee said, her in-laws were angry that Samsung had moved into the electronics business to rival LG, and Sook-hee complained to her brothers and sisters.

That led her to her being removed as an heir to her father, Lee said.

By Seo Ji-eun []

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