Taiwan to give Lee Young-ae an award
Actress Lee Young-ae, of the hit period drama series “Dae Jang Geum” (2003-04), will receive a human rights award from a Taiwanese organization, according to a lawyer who represents the 43-year-old actress.
The official name of the award is “Fervent Global Love of Lives.” It is given by the Chou Ta-kuan Cultural and Educational Foundation.
Lee is scheduled to visit Taiwan sometime next year to receive her award.
“Lee had a chance to meet officials from the Taipei Representative Office in a private meeting recently to receive a recognition plaque from the Taiwanese government,” said lawyer Lee Jong-mu.
The private meeting was arranged by the Taipei Representative Office as a mark of appreciation because Lee helped out a Taiwanese mother who gave birth to a premature infant last June.
Lee donated 100 million won ($96,000) to the mother who happened to give birth to a baby after she accidentally fell during her trip to Seoul.
The baby reportedly weighed about one kilogram (about two pounds) and was diagnosed with biliary atresia, a rare liver disease. The child had to go through a number of surgeries, but its parents could not afford the medical expenses. Due to their mounting bills, the couple could not go back home.
“During the recent meeting, Lee was asked to participate in the awards ceremony that will be held next year to receive the human rights award,” the lawyer said.
The news about Lee giving a helping hand to the baby and its parents was covered by Taiwanese media when the couple returned to their home country.
After Lee gave the donation, some Taiwanese online news outlets reported that the couple actually leads an affluent life as they drive a BMW and were allegedly spotted at a Lady Gaga concert that costs 480,000 won per ticket.
Responding to the controversy, however, Lee said publicly last year, “I have no intention of getting back the money but if the couple returns the money, I will donate it to somewhere else.”
By Sung So-young