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Actor Lee Byung-hun apologizes over blackmail scandal

Actor Lee Byung-hun made a public apology Friday for causing trouble over a blackmail case in his first public appearance here since the scandal emerged.

"It's all thanks to your attention that I was able to live as an actor," Lee said in a trembling voice during a press conference to promote the Korean historical action film "Memories of the Sword."

"I'm feeling the importance of this attention more keenly than any time before as I spend time in repenting for giving you a big disappointment."

In September, Lee was blackmailed by two women demanding that the actor pay them 5 billion won ($4.28 million) in exchange for not uploading online a video clip allegedly showing the three of them drinking and making sexual remarks.

Lee won a lawsuit as the court gave the blackmailers a suspended jail term. But he could not escape from the public criticism that he behaved inappropriately as a married man.

"I know very well that a few times of apology or time can never help dispel  disappointment," he said, vowing steady efforts to change himself.

Lee plays Yubaek, an ambitious swordsman dreaming of becoming the king in the Korean costume film "Memories of the Sword" set in the late years of the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392). He currently is filming a Hollywood remake of the classic 1960 western film "The Magnificent Seven" with Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke and Wagner Moura.

"Memories of the Sword" is set to open Aug. 13 in local theaters. (Yonhap)

Korea Herald daum