A South Korean actress on Monday attended a closed court hearing to claim innocence in regard to prostitution charges.
Sung Hyun-ah, 40, was summarily indicted in December 2013 for allegedly receiving 50 million won ($47,000) from a wealthy businessman in return for sexual favors four years ago. She countersued the following month.
The actress walked into the Suwon District Court in Ansan, Gyeonggi Province, at around 3 p.m., without responding to reporters’ questions.
“Sung consistently pleaded her innocence,” a court official told media after the hearing.
It was initially expected that two witnesses would be questioned to help Sung fight her charges, but one declined to attend at the last minute, Sung’s lawyers said.
Charges against the actress were first made in December 2013 when the prosecution confirmed its probe into a prostitution ring involving a slew of female celebrities and models.
The court filed a summary indictment against Sung, claiming that the actress had had sexual relations with the wealthy man three times between November 2010 and March 2011, in return for 50 million won in cash.
This is the first time the prosecution has formally cracked down on such secretive sex-for-money practices involving female celebrities.
After Sung countersued in January 2014, the court revealed Sung’s name and held the first hearing on Feb. 19.
Sung is a well-known celebrity who made her acting debut after winning a prize in a local beauty pageant in the 1990s. Her filmography includes “The Scarlet Letter” (2004) and “The Customer is Always Right” (2006). Sung’s next hearing will be held on April 7.
By Suk Gee-hyun