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Two women get jail terms for blackmailing actor Lee Byung-hun

A Seoul court on Thursday convicted two women in their 20s for blackmailing leading actor Lee Byung-hun for millions of dollars over a video clip of the three exchanging lewd jokes.

The Seoul Central District Court sentenced the two, surnamed Lee and Kim, to one year and two months, and one year in prison, respectively.

The two were found guilty of demanding the actor pay them 5 billion won ($4.9 million) in exchange for not disclosing online the clip allegedly showing the three of them drinking and making sexual remarks.

During trials, Lee, who had recently made her debut as a singer, claimed that she had blackmailed the actor because he had recently broken off their relationship.

"Based on text messages exchanged between the defendants, it is difficult to judge that Lee committed the crime because she was betrayed," Judge Jeong Eun-young said in her ruling, adding that the motive behind the crime was money.      

Long a household name in South Korea, Lee has starred in Hollywood action films, such as "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" (2013) and "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" (2009), as well as several Korean movies and dramas of different genres. More recently, he co-starred in the Hollywood blockbuster "Red 2," starring Bruce Willis and Catherine Zeta-Jones. (Yonhap)