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Lee Byung-hun repeats apology upon returning home

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Updated : February 26 2015

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(OSEN)

South Korean actor Lee Byung-hun apologized on Thursday to the public and his wife, actress Lee Min-jung, over a recent blackmail case.

The apology came at Incheon International Airport on Thursday morning after the Hollywood star arrived in Korea with his celebrity wife, three months after he left for the U.S.

The actor, who looked exhausted after the long flight, broke his silence by saying, “I should have apologized earlier. I am sorry.”

“I am the only one to blame. I owe my family and wife a big one that will take forever to pay back,” he told reporters at the airport.

“I apologize to those hurt and offended by me,” he added.

His wife, however, slipped through the airport without saying a word.

The 44-year-old actor was involved in a blackmail case in which two minor celebrities demanded 5 billion won ($4.6 million) in return for a video of the three having a lewd conversation.

Lee filed a lawsuit against model Lee Ji-yeon, 24, and GLAM member Kim Da-hee, 20, last August, which led to a heavy blow to his image and reputation.

The model even claimed that she had been dating the actor for a few months and he initiated their relationship by offering financial support, further complicating the case.

Public sentiment quickly turned negative toward Lee, a married man.

The court sentenced the model to 14 months and the girl group member to one year in jail.

But the prosecution recently filed an appellate brief, demanding heavier punishment for the pair.

The big-name actor made a similar apology in October last year during the legal battle, expressing deep regret that his family and wife had suffered due to the incident.

Lee and his wife headed to their marital home in Gwangju. They plan to take a rest there for the time being, according to the actor’s agency.

They have been married since August 2013. The actress is due to give birth in April.

(khnews@heraldcorp.com)

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