The Korea Herald


[Newsmaker] Forensic psychologist quits Yoon Suk-yeol campaign over his wife's remarks

Lee made apology over Kim’s remarks, causing a stir in the party

By Shin Ji-hye

Published : Jan. 19, 2022 - 13:49

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Lee Soo-jung, a criminal psychology professor at Kyonggi University (Yonhap) Lee Soo-jung, a criminal psychology professor at Kyonggi University (Yonhap)
Lee Soo-jung, a criminal psychology professor at Kyonggi University, stepped down as an advisor to the main opposition People Power Party’s election camp after apologizing to a victim of a #MeToo scandal for remarks made by presidential candidate Yoon Suk-yeol’s wife Kim Keon-hee about the matter.

She told a local media outlet that apologizing to the victim Kim Ji-eun ”was my conscience,” adding, “I resigned in advance because there was a difference between my position and the (party‘s) policy to appeal to young men.“ She said that she feared “it might become a nuisance.”

In a phone call recording released by TV broadcaster MBC‘s investigative news show “Straight” on Sunday, Kim said that she felt sorry for Ahn Hee-jung, and that she and her husband are “on Ahn Hee-jung’s side.” She also said that the #MeToo scandals erupted because the accused didn’t pay the victims.

Former star politician Ahn Hee-jung was accused of sexual misconduct toward his secretary, Kim Ji-eun. The Supreme Court upheld the lower court‘s ruling, which sentenced Ahn to three and a half years in prison in September 2020.

Professor Lee said on Facebook on Tuesday, “I express my sincere regret over the mental pain that the audio transcript may have caused to Kim Ji-eun, the victim of the Ahn Hee-jung incident.”

Lee said she would not withdraw her support for candidate Yoon and still hoped he would change the regime. “I will continue to consult on policy,” she said.

After Lee’s post, strong opposition from the party’s young male supporters continued, which was interpreted as a result of Professor Lee’s decision to resign.

Regarding Kim Keon-hee’s remarks that she “felt sorry for Ahn” because of his prison term, feminist politician Shin Ji-ye, who briefly joined the campaign of Yoon Suk-yeol, said, “It is not a matter to be dismissed as a private conversation.”

Shin said on her Facebook page on Tuesday, “Kim Ji-eun, despite receiving a court ruling, is suffering a secondary victimization and has yet to recover her daily life due to ridicule and intimidation.”

Kim Ji-eun demanded that Kim Keon-hee apologize for her #MeToo remarks the day after the MBC broadcast.

“I saw Kim Keon-hee’s attitude, which was sarcastic and (suggesting) a conspiracy theory a case that was even convicted by a court ruling. And I also heard words that disparaged #MeToo, which contained the cries of victims,” Kim stated on Monday. “I ask for a sincere apology from Kim Keon-hee.”

On the matter, candidate Yoon said, “I have nothing more to say.”