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Lee Byung-hun's blackmailers get suspended jail terms

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Updated : March 26 2015

A Seoul appellate court on Thursday suspended the jail terms given to two women in their 20s who were convicted of blackmailing leading actor Lee Byung-hun over a video clip of the three exchanging lewd jokes.

The appellate panel of the Seoul Central District Court sentenced the two, surnamed Lee and Kim, to a year and two months and a year in jail, respectively, both suspended for two years.

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Actor Lee Byung-hun. (Yonhap)
The appeals court upheld a lower court decision finding the two guilty of demanding the actor pay them 5 billion won ($4.5 million) in exchange for not uploading the clip allegedly showing the three of them drinking and making sexual remarks online.

"Lee expressed his wish not to punish the defendants, and the two women showed feelings of deep remorse during the past six months spent in jail," Judge Jo Hyu-ok said. "Lee is also partly responsible for their crime since he was the one who initiated the sexual jokes."

Long a household name in South Korea, Lee has starred in the Hollywood action films "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)

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