Police will start summoning journalists, corporate executives and other key figures suspected of involvement in allegations of sexual abuse surrounding actress Jang Ja-yeon’s suicide this week.
The Bundang Police Office said Monday they have confirmed the identities of the figures allegedly “entertained” by the late actress, and have traced her former agency head’s credit card spending to verify where and when they were entertained. The former agency boss, identified as Kim, 40, is now hiding in Japan.
“We identified nine upscale membership bars in southern Seoul after questioning dozens of witnesses and colleagues of the late Jang, including some actresses,” said Lee Myung-kyun, chief investigator at Gyeonggi Provincial Policy Agency. “Those who were in the same (bars) with the late actress and Kim will be questioned.”
Police have also secured computer files containing Kim’s dinner and golf outing schedules between January 2006 and September 2008.
According to sources, among the figures to be called in for questioning are Kim, a media firm CEO, an IT firm president, and the chairman of a large financial institute, all allegedly listed in a seven-page suicide note Jang left behind, suggesting she was forced to provide sexual services by her agency boss.
A newspaper chief, two drama producers, and two other entertainment agency heads are also to be questioned, the sources said.
To pressure Kim to return to Seoul, police will ask the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to invalidate his passport, and cooperate with Japanese police to apprehend him.
In the meantime, a journalist was summoned to be questioned over the leak of the suicide note, which Jang’s former manager, Yoo Jang-ho, claimed he completely burned in front of her family right after her funeral service. Some of its contents were leaked to the media days after the service. Two KBS reporters who exclusively reported on the affair are to be questioned. The bereaved family has sued the reporters and others for defamation. KBS has refused to disclose how it acquired the letter.
Police are also looking into Jang’s e-mail and phone call records for more evidence.
Jang, 30, hanged herself at her home in Bundang on March 7. The case took an unexpected turn a few days later when the content of the lengthy letter Jang is believed to have written was made public by KBS.