Lee Ji-ah

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This is a Korean name; the family name is Kim. In the stage name or pen-name, the surname is Lee.
Lee Ji-ah
Lee Ji-ah on October 31, 2011.jpg
Born Kim Sang-eun
(1978-02-02) February 2, 1978 (age 39)
South Korea
Other names Kim Ji-ah
E Ji-ah
Occupation
Years active 2007–present
Agent BH Entertainment
(2016-present)
Spouse(s) Seo Taiji
(m. 1997; div. 2006)
Korean name
Hangul 이지아
Hanja
Revised Romanization I Ji-a
McCune–Reischauer I Chia
Birth name
Hangul 김상은
Revised Romanization Gim Sang-eun
McCune–Reischauer Kim Sangŭn

Kim Sang-eun (born February 2, 1978), known professionally as Lee Ji-ah, is a South Korean actress. After her breakout role in The Legend in 2007, she has starred in television series Beethoven Virus (2008), Athena: Goddess of War (2010), Me Too, Flower! (2011), and Thrice Married Woman (2013).

Early life[edit]

Lee was born Kim Sang-eun in February 2, 1978 in South Korea. Her grandfather is educator Kim Soon-heung who was one of the patrons for the creation Seoul Arts High School, and was chairman Kyunggi High School;[1] but was later identified in 2009 as a chinilpa. Her father was a businessman. She was in the sixth grade when their family moved to the U.S. and stayed there for 10 years.

She majored in graphic design at the Pasadena Art Center College of Design.[2][3]

During a brief visit to Korea in 2004, she made her entertainment debut by appearing in an LG Telecom TV commercial with actor Bae Yong-joon. She left the U.S. and returned to Korea in early 2005 and legally changed her name from Kim Sang-eun to Kim Ji-ah and adopted the stage name Lee Ji-ah.

Career[edit]

2007-2013[edit]

In 2007, Lee made her acting debut in the fantasy television series The Legend opposite Bae Yong-joon. The high-profile, big-budget production shot Lee instantly to stardom.[4][5][6][7] At the year-end MBC Drama Awards, Lee was awarded Best New Actress, Popularity Award, and Best Couple Award (with Bae). She again won Best New Actress for TV at the Baeksang Arts Awards a year later.[8]

She then starred in 2008's Beethoven Virus wherein Lee played a violinist who gets diagnosed with a disease that results in complete hearing loss.[9]

She was next cast in Style, a TV series based on the 2008 chick lit novel of the same title. Inspired by The Devil Wears Prada, Lee played a hardworking assistant to a perfectionist fashion magazine editor played by Kim Hye-soo.[10][11][12]

In late 2009, she joined the seven-part "Telecinema" series, which brought together Korean stars and directors, and Japanese writers. Each "telecinema" was released in movie theaters and also aired on television on SBS.[13]

Lee then co-starred along Jung Woo-sung, Cha Seung-won and Soo Ae in the 2010 spy series Athena: Goddess of War, a spin-off to 2009's IRIS.[14][15][16]

In 2011, she starred in the television drama Me Too, Flower!, playing an ill-tempered police officer who falls in love with a young millionaire masquerading as a parking attendant.[17][18][19][20][21][22]

When Lee's five-year contract with Bae's agency KeyEast expired on December 31, 2011 she signed with Will Entertainment in March 2012.[23][24][25] In 2013, she took on the leading role in Thrice Married Woman.[26]

2014 - present[edit]

In April 2014, Lee signed with a new management agency, HB Entertainment.[27] This was followed by a three-picture contract with Hollywood indie outfit Maybach Film Productions as a screenwriter.[28][29]

In May 2016, Lee left HB Entertainment and signed with new management agency BH Entertainment.[30]

Personal life[edit]

In March 2011, a photo taken by a tourist of Lee and Athena costar Jung Woo-sung on a date in Paris surfaced on the internet, and the two confirmed that they were romantically involved.[31][32][33]

On April 21, 2011, Sports Seoul broke the story (later confirmed by numerous media outlets) that she and Korean pop/rock icon Seo Taiji had been secretly married since 1997, before splitting in 2006. News leaked after two hearings had been held at the Seoul Family Court (court papers used Seo and Lee's birth names - Jeong Hyeon-cheol and Kim Sang-eun, respectively) since Lee filed a ₩5.5 billion lawsuit against Seo for alimony and division of assets. Both celebrities were believed to have been single.[34][35][36][37][38][39]

Lee left for the United States to study in 1993 and met Seo through an acquaintance at a concert in Los Angeles the same year. They developed a long-distance relationship through letters and phone calls while Lee stayed in the U.S. and Seo went back to Korea to continue his entertainment activities with his band Seo Taiji and Boys. In 1996, Seo announced his retirement from show business, after which he went to the U.S. where he and Lee quietly married on October 12, 1997. The couple lived in the States, moving to Atlanta and then Arizona.[3][40][41][42]

They separated when Seo returned to Korea in June 2000 for his comeback to the K-pop scene as a solo artist. Lee, who stayed behind in the U.S., began divorce proceedings in 2006 at the Santa Monica Family Court on the grounds of irreconcilable differences due to incompatible lifestyles and personalities.[43]

Lee claimed in the 2011 lawsuit that she filed the for divorce in 2006 and the court decision became effective in 2009, thus the three years required under Korean law for seeking alimony hadn't expired. But Seo's assertion was that the divorce officially took effect on August 9, 2006 and the statute of limitations had passed.[44] Lee lodged the suit in January and withdrew it on April 30, citing psychological suffering after her private life was made public.[45][46][47][48][49] Seo's lawyers opposed the motion,[50][51] and Lee resumed her case, with her lawyer arguing that the California court ruling was invalid and that the two were still legally married.[52][53] Through mediation, the ex-couple reached an out-of-court settlement in July 2011, which included a non-disclosure agreement.[54][55][56][57]

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2007 The Legend Sujini / Saeoh Television
2008 Beethoven Virus Du Ru-mi Television
2009 Style Lee Seo-jung Television
The Relation of Face, Mind and Love Wang So-jung Film
2010 Please Come Back to Me by Vibe Music video
Athena: Goddess of War Han Jae-hee Television
2011 Me Too, Flower! Cha Bong-sun Television
2013 Thrice Married Woman Oh Eun-soo Television

Discography[edit]

Year Title Artist Notes
2008 Love Virus Lee Ji-ah digital single
So Much Super Sta feat. Baby Boy's Soul and Lee Ji-ah
2009 Cupcake and Alien Lee Ji-ah digital single
2010 Vampire Romance Lee Ji-ah digital single

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2007
MBC Drama Awards
Best New Actress
The Legend
Won
Popularity Award Won
Best Couple Award (with Bae Yong-joon) Won
2008
44th Baeksang Arts Awards
Best New Actress (TV) Won
MBC Drama Awards
Excellence Award, Actress
Beethoven Virus
Nominated
2011
SBS Drama Awards
Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Special Planning Drama
Athena: Goddess of War
Nominated
2014
7th Korea Drama Awards
Top Excellence Award, Actress
Thrice Married Woman
Nominated
3rd APAN Star Awards
Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Serial Drama Nominated
SBS Drama Awards
Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Serial Drama Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (20 December 2011). "E Jiah granddaughter of wealthy man". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  2. ^ "Profile". Ejiah.com. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  3. ^ a b "Mystery Deepens Over Seo Tai-ji's Secret Marriage to Lee Ji-ah". The Chosun Ilbo. 22 April 2011. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  4. ^ Garcia, Cathy Rose A. (8 May 2007). "Newcomer Lee Ji-ah to Play Bae Yong-joon's Love Interest". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  5. ^ Kim, Rahn (21 October 2007). "Star Couple's Divorce Most Searched". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  6. ^ Kwon, Mee-yoo (12 December 2007). "E Ji-ah Surges as New Inspiring Actress". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  7. ^ "Culture Trends 2008". The Korea Times. 26 December 2007. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  8. ^ "The 44th PaekSang Arts Awards Sparkles with Stars". KBS World. 24 April 2008. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 
  9. ^ Han, Sang-hee (9 September 2008). "Dramas Bring Hero, Gamblers and Orchestra". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  10. ^ Han, Sang-hee (21 July 2009). "Style to Bring Fashion, Love and Career". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  11. ^ Oh, Jean (27 July 2009). "Fighters, fashionistas spice up small screen". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  12. ^ Park, So-yeon (5 November 2011). "E Ji-ah says is receiving treatment for paralyzed heel". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  13. ^ Lee, Hyo-won (5 November 2009). "Relation Trips Over Own Subject Matter". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  14. ^ Hong, Lucia (20 April 2010). "E Ji-ah locked in as female lead for IRIS spin-off". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  15. ^ Ko, Jae-wan (30 November 2010). "E Ji-ah says did not use double for action sequences". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  16. ^ Han, Sang-hee (30 November 2010). "Athena to sneak into homes this month". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  17. ^ Kim, Jessica (20 September 2011). "E Ji-ah confirmed for November TV series role". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  18. ^ Lee, Sun-min (22 September 2011). "E Jiah returns to TV in new series". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  19. ^ Kim, Yoon-mi (22 September 2011). "E Ji-ah to come back in TV drama". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  20. ^ "Lee Ji-ah to Return to TV Screens". The Chosun Ilbo. 21 September 2011. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  21. ^ Hong, Lucia (31 October 2011). "E Ji-ah: I want to repay those around me by returning to acting". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  22. ^ "Lee Ji-ah Resurfaces After Divorce Scandal". The Chosun Ilbo. 1 November 2011. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  23. ^ http://www.willent.co.kr/#content3
  24. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (22 January 2013). "E Jiah wants a name for herself". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  25. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (12 January 2012). "Actress E Jiah parts ways with her agency". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  26. ^ Kang, Jung-yeon (30 September 2013). "E Ji-ah to Be Back on Small Screen After 2 Years". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-10-01. 
  27. ^ Lim, Ju-hui (5 April 2014). "Lee Ji Ah signing a new contract with HB Entertainment". StarN News. Retrieved 2014-04-18. 
  28. ^ Kim, Erika (11 July 2014). "E Jiah to Debut in Hollywood as Screenwriter". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  29. ^ Kim, June (16 July 2014). "LEE Ji-ah to Pen Hollywood Screenplay". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 2014-07-17. 
  30. ^ Kim, Yu-jin (13 May 2016). "이지아, 이병헌·진구·한효주와 한솥밥 "BH 行 확정"". XSports News. Retrieved 2016-05-13. 
  31. ^ Kwon, Mee-yoo (21 March 2011). "Jung admits dating E Ji-ah". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  32. ^ "Jung Woo-sung Admits Romance with Lee Ji-ah". The Chosun Ilbo. 21 March 2011. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  33. ^ Kim, Jessica (21 March 2011). "Jung Woo-sung admits to dating E Ji-ah". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  34. ^ "Seo Taiji's secret marriage (and divorce) exposed". Korea JoongAng Daily. 21 April 2011. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  35. ^ Kim, Jessica (21 April 2011). "E Ji-ah and Seo Taiji said to be married, filing for divorce". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  36. ^ Kim, Yoon-mi (22 April 2011). "Former idol's secret marriage creates stir". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  37. ^ Choi, Shin-ae (12 August 2014). "E Jiah Told Jung Woo Sung About Her Marriage with Seo Taiji When They Were Dating". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2014-08-13. 
  38. ^ Noh, Hyun-gi (28 December 2011). "Secret marriage, lawsuits, rumors: stars make headlines". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  39. ^ Lee, Sun-min (29 December 2011). "2011 Top 10 stories: 14-year marriage laid bare". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  40. ^ Kim, Rahn (22 April 2011). "Mass public deception vs. private life". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  41. ^ Kim, Jessica (22 April 2011). "E Ji-ah says married and divorced Seo Taiji". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  42. ^ Lee, Hyo-won (24 April 2011). "Cyber mobs hunt for truth about Seo-E scandal". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  43. ^ "Actress E gave up spousal support in 2006". The Korea Times. 25 April 2011. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  44. ^ Cho, Ji-hyun (30 April 2011). "Taiji speaks up about divorce for first time". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  45. ^ "Star Korean actress drops alimony lawsuit against ex-singer husband". The Korea Herald. 1 May 2011. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  46. ^ "Lee Ji-ah Withdraws Alimony Suit Against Seo Tai-ji". The Chosun Ilbo. 2 May 2011. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  47. ^ Park, Min-young (1 May 2011). "E Ji-ah drops suit, Seo Tai-ji speaks up". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  48. ^ "No dealing made about dropping of suit: Seo's side". The Korea Times. 1 May 2011. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  49. ^ Kim, Tae-jong (2 May 2011). "Actress E denies behind-the-scene deal". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  50. ^ Kim, Rahn (18 May 2011). "Seo-E battle enters season 2". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  51. ^ "Seo Tai-ji to Fight Ex-Wife's Claims". The Chosun Ilbo. 18 May 2011. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  52. ^ Lee, Hyo-won (5 July 2011). "Seo-E lawsuit postponed". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  53. ^ Holley, Robert (17 June 2011). "E Jiah to resume lawsuit against ex-husband Seo Taiji". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  54. ^ Yun, Suh-young (29 July 2011). "Seo Tae-ji, E Ji-ah settle marriage dispute". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  55. ^ Jung, Eun-jung (29 July 2011). "Seo Tai-ji, E Ji-ah agree to end alimony suit". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  56. ^ Sung, So-young (30 July 2011). "Seo, ex-wife finish their legal dispute". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  57. ^ "Seo Tai-ji, Ex-Wife Settle Dispute". The Chosun Ilbo. 1 August 2011. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 

External links[edit]