Actress Lee Ji Ah was the guest on the August 11th episode of SBS TV talk show ‘Healing Camp‘, where she frankly addressed her divorce with Seo Taiji, her unfortunate break-up with Jung Woo Sung, and other issues.
‘Healing Camp’ was Lee Ji Ah’s first talk show of her career, and the first question posed to her was, “What’s your real name and age.” There were many rumours about Lee Ji Ah which ranged from she was an alien, a transgender, or someone that was created with CG (computer graphics), as her existence was somewhat shrouded in mystery.
Lee Ji Ah revealed that her legal name was Kim Ji Ah, but her birth name was Kim Sang Eun. As for Lee Ji Ah’s age, it was the same as her 2013 SBS TV drama ‘The Woman Who Married Three Times’ co-star and actor Song Chang Ui.
There have been many rumours floating around, but Lee Ji Ah never came out to clarify them because she had a secret that didn’t allow her to do so, and was definitely something that she did not want anyone to know for a lifetime. But Lee Ji Ah’s divorce proceedings with singer Seo Taiji went public in April of 2011, and her ‘secret’ marriage to him was finally known to all.
Lee Ji Ah was only 16 when she went to Los Angeles, America to further her studies. She met Seo Taiji there for the first time, and decided to marry him. Lee Ji Ah was only a teenager then, and the price she paid for marrying so early in her life will certainly surpass everyone’s imagination. Lee Ji Ah said, “Not even squirrels can know about my marriage.”
The actress continued, “You had to live in seclusion with someone so famous and was adored by everyone in the country. It was like hiding behind a huge rock, so it wasn’t easy. You had to make the effort, and no one around you can imagined how it was like. I never contacted my friends nor family for seven years.”
She reminisced, “The reason for me living out such an abnormal life, was because the other party requested me to do so. I myself thought it was a way of safeguarding the relationship. I was really innocent and naive.”
Lee Ji Ah subsequently ended her difficult marriage life, and returned to Korea to eke out a career as an actress. But her past hidden life became a huge obstacle for her. Because Lee Ji Ah had been living a hermit life for so long and yet offered no explanation for it. Lee Ji Ah even avoided her friends, and this led to rumours of her being ostracised as a result.
When Lee Ji Ah was filming the drama ‘The Story of the First King’s Four Gods’, she never once attended a meal gathering. She revealed her reason for doing so, “If I attended those gatherings, questions of that sort would naturally pop up, and it would make me feel uneasy. So I purposely avoided going to those gatherings. In the end, there was talk that I was a little weird, and there must be something wrong with me.”
At this point, the one who offered a helping hand was her co-star and actor Jung Woo Sung who then became her boyfriend. The two met through filming ‘Athena’, and progressed to become a couple. Lee Ji Ah said, “He was once an important person to me,” as romance vibes started filling the air.
But just as the romance became public, Lee Ji Ah’s divorce rumours also started surfacing. There were even rumours that Lee Ji Ah was pregnant. In the end, Lee Ji Ah and Jung Woo Sung went their separate ways. Lee Ji Ah said with regrets, “Under that situation, how could we still remain as friends?”
Lee Ji Ah then mentioned that she was in Paris for a vacation with Jung Woo Sung, when photos of them got snapped and got published as news articles. She said with a smile, “I really liked those photos.”
As news of her divorce proceedings with Seo Taiji broke, Lee Ji Ah said calmly, “I lived out my life like a mental patient for the four months.”
On the day that news of her divorce surfaced, Lee Ji Ah said, “It was the first time in my life that I had felt such emotions. It was my personal secret, and I didn’t want others to know, nor acknowledge. But it was just divulged just like that at that moment. I never stepped out of my house for four months. That sorrowful feeling, I kind of got used to it. When I realized that I had gotten used to it, I just felt sad suddenly.”
As divorce wasn’t just her own matter, Lee Ji Ah was really cautious about it. She said, “There are some parts that I am relaxed about, and some that I have not revealed. But I have to withstand it all.’
When asked by Sung Yuri what love meant to her, Lee Ji Ah said, “I feel that love is not to possess of something, nor invade their privacy.”
Lee Ji Ah added, “Although I am still unprepared, I still wish to start a new relationship someday. As long as we love each other, everything will turn out fine.”
By: Kim Hyun Kyung