The case of the late Jang Ja-yeon, a promising actress who took her life and set the entertainment industry ablaze, is finally making gains. But in the turmoil of several consecutive celebrity scandals, the news has failed to capture public attention.
When actress Jang Ja-yeon took her life in 2009, she left behind a letter detailing the abuse, mostly of a sexual nature at the hands of powerful men. Sadly this included people in her agency who were supposed to take care of her such as her manager Kim Sung-hoon. In addition to those details, she also left an extensive list of 31 perpetrators.
During the trials that followed, 20 people were investigated leading to seven indictments, which included Kim and the CEO of her previous agency. Conversely, the court acquitted more than ten influential figures, leaving room for suspicion.
In 2018, the case was reopened after SBS’ “News Room” reported that a key witnessed has her testimonies suppressed by investigators. The witness, at that time, only referred to by her surname “Yoon,” claimed to have provided crucial information including the identities of those she knows to be involved.
This week, this witness came forward revealing herself to be fellow actress Yoon Ji-oh.
On Tuesday, actress Yoon Ji-oh, one fo the only witnesses to the abuse the late Jang Ja-Yeon suffered, officially met with Supreme Prosecutors’ Office’s investigation team. With them, she provided a full statement as part of the ongoing investigation that started in 2018. According to reports, Yoon mentioned one politician and three journalists who are known to be included in Jang’s infamous list.
However, the news of her statement was quickly buried under other reports. Instead, the evolving scandal involving Seungri, Jung Joon-young and their affiliates left little room for anything else. Seeing this lack of attention, Yoon spoke openly as she aired her frustrations and highlighted Jang’s case is equally important. “Each time Jang’s case comes up it is overlooked, but please pay more attention to it,” said Yoon to a group of reporters.
The next day on the 13th, Yoon took to social media where she wrote that she feels “so upset each time Jang’s case comes up, it seems like there’s an unusual amount of provocative issues” that overshadows it. Unfortunately, this may be the reality for the remaining investigation of Jung’s case. The prosecution’s committee on the investigation of the case will end its activities on the 31st. It is likely that the Seungri and Jung situation will last for the same period.
On another note, the people who are paying attention to the case have worked to ensure Yoon’s safety. A petition on the Blue Houses official website calling for Yoon to be protected given the value of her testimony surpassed 200,000 signatures this week.
The number of signatures ensures that it will get a response from a government official. According to Yoon’s social media post on the 13th, she has been granted special witness protection and moved into a special residence.
By Olempia Castillo