Lee Seok Cheol And Lee Seung Hyun Testify As Witnesses In Second Trial For Abuse Case
On April 19, the second hearing for the case against producer Moon Young Il, Media Line’s CEO Kim Chang Hwan, and Media Line’s president Lee Jung Hyun was held at the Seoul Central District Court.
In the first hearing, producer Moon Young Il, who is being charged with chronic child abuse, admitted to the charges. Both Kim Chang Hwan and Lee Jung Hyun denied the charges of aiding in child abuse and violating the Child Welfare Law.
The East Light member Lee Eun Sung was supposed to be interrogated as a witness in the second hearing, but he did not show up in court. The court decided to withdraw his interrogation, leaving Lee Seok Cheol and Lee Seung Hyun as the only witnesses to undergo interrogation in the second hearing.
Lee Seok Cheol and Lee Seung Hyun’s representatives filed a request for witness protection, and the court ruled that it would be difficult for the witnesses to testify in front of the defendants and Kim Chang Hwan and Lee Jung Hyun were escorted to a separate room during the witness interrogation.
Lee Seok Cheol and Lee Seung Hyun’s parents asked to be able to accompany their children in court, but because the parents will be appearing as witnesses in the third hearing, they were not granted permission and had to wait outside.
Lee Seung Hyun began the testimony by speaking about the incident on June 13, 2017, in which he was confined and assaulted by producer Moon Young Il. “I was assaulted by producer Moon Young Il because of soccer,” he said. “I didn’t play soccer, but he heard a rumor that I had played and he imprisoned me and physically assaulted me.”
He explained, “The agency did not let us play soccer. I was part of a soccer club at school and had to fulfill my attendance quota at the club. But I did not actually play soccer and only went to say hello to the coach. Then producer Moon Young Il called me and threatened me, saying, ‘Did you play soccer? I’ll kill you.’ I was so scared that I ran away. We had a V Live broadcast scheduled that day, but I thought he really would kill me, so I didn’t go to the agency and hid in my apartment balcony.
“My parents found me there and said, ‘The producer isn’t that kind of person’ and took me to the agency. Producer Moon Young Il took me to the fifth floor and said to me, ‘Let’s die.’ He hit me with a black club and choked me. I ran away and screamed, ‘Save me.’ CEO Kim Chang Hwan was coming up the stairs. I begged him to save me and he said while smoking a cigarette, ‘Go lightly on him’ and walked away. The producer bowed to him and said, ‘Thank you.'”
He continued in tears, “Producer Moon Young Il took me away again, locked the door, and beat me. I got hit dozens of times.”
Lee Seung Hyun further testified that Kim Chang Hwan knew what Moon Young Il was doing and did not stop him. “When we were together, he would tell us, ‘You guys are like withered plants. You’re not going to make it. I’ve raised Kim Gun Mo and Shin Seung Hoon, and I don’t feel like you guys will ever make it.’ He would say to producer Moon Young Il, ‘Even if you have to drill a hole in their head, you have to make them into something worthwhile. Even if we have to go to someone’s funeral, I’ll pay the funeral costs.”
Talking about another incident, Lee Seung Hyun said, “When producer Moon Young Il was hitting me, he would say, ‘Do you want me to break your arm or break the 10 million won bass?’ That bass guitar has been precious to me since 2001, so I told him to hit my arm. But he stepped on my arm with his boots.”
Lee Seung Hyun’s testimony lasted for two hours and concluded with, “I wish that these incidents would no longer occur in South Korea. I’m upset for myself, but when I think about other children who go through this, my heart breaks. I hope for a future in which these things never occur again, and I want CEO Kim Chang Hwan to stop lying about it.”
Lee Seok Cheol then began his testimony, which was mostly similar to his brother’s. About Kim Chang Hwan, he testified, “He would swear at us or say things to us that were just unbelievable.”
At the end, Lee Seok Cheol said, “In preparing for this case, my brother and I wanted justice not only for ourselves but for all the people in the entertainment industry and the whole world. We do not want things like this to ever happen again. We just wanted to give people hope through good music. This kind of thing cannot happen ever again.”
The next hearing will take place on May 7. Lee Seok Cheol and Lee Seung Hyun’s parents, as well as The East Light member Kim Joon Wook, are scheduled to undergo witness interrogation.
In addition to the abuse case, Lee Seok Cheol and Lee Seung Hyun have also filed defamation lawsuits against Kim Chang Hwan and two other The East Light members and an arbitration request for unpaid wages against Media Line.