The legal representative of Lee Ji-yeon on Thursday stated that the model was in a relationship with top actor Lee Byung-hun.
The first hearing on the celebrity blackmailing case, held at the Seoul Central District Court, aroused public criticism nationwide of all three celebrities involved: Lee Byung-hun, Lee Ji-yeon and Kim Da-hee of girl group GLAM.
The trial came a year after Lee Byung-hun married actress Lee Min-jung in Aug. 10, 2013.
The prosecutor claimed that Lee Ji-yeon, 24, and Kim Dae-hee, 20, were introduced to Lee Byung-hun by a common friend surnamed Seok in July this year.
When the 44-year-old actor text-messaged "Let's not see each other again" to Lee Ji-yeon, she demanded 5 billion won (S$5.9 million) in exchange for the video footage containing his lewd remarks.
The defendant's attorney, however, refuted the prosecutor's claim that she approached Lee Byung-hun for financial favors from the start. The truth is, the attorney alleged, that the two were in loving relationship.
The attorney claimed, "Lee Byung Hun tried to go beyond 'touching' her, and when she disagreed, he bid farewell," implying that the actor demanded a sexual relationship from the model.
The model's attorney also refuted the prosecutor's claim that she demanded that Lee Byung-hun buy her a house. "It was Lee Byung-hyun who coaxed Lee Ji-yeon to look for a new house, when he was demanding a sexual relationship from her," the attorney said.
The attorney of Kim Da-hee, another defendant, alleged that the singer was not aware of the illegality of selling the video footage to Dispatch, an online tabloid.
Kim's attorney told the judge, "Lee Ji-yeon told Kim that they could make 1 billion won for handing over the lewd video of Lee Byung-hun to Dispatch, leading to Kim's misconception that the act was legally acceptable."
The second hearing will take place on Nov. 11 at 2 p.m. The prosecutor requested that Seok, the common acquaintance of the three celebrities, take the stand as a witness.