By Kwon Mee-yoo
The late actress Jang Ja-yeon
Police have started investigating the authenticity of a note actress Jang Ja-yeon allegedly left before committing suicide on March 8. The note said she was unable to withstand the pressure of entertaining and having sex with program directors and corporate and media executives.
The former manager of the 30-year-old actress made public her alleged handwritten letters. Jang, who recently starred in the hit drama "Boys Over Flowers," was found dead in an apparent suicide at her home in Bundang, Gyeonggi Province.
According to the Bundang Police Station, Jang's letter said she was beaten, forced to serve drinks, act as an escort at golf matches and coerced into sex with several program directors, CEOs and media executives. Police said they obtained the list of names mentioned in the document but would decide on making them public after confirming whether the document in question is "authentic."
The police searched nine places including Jang's former and current agencies and her residence and seized the document from a broadcasting station, Saturday. The document will first go through a graphology test to confirm her handwriting and then police will investigate the content.
The letter also had some 10 names of program directors and other VIPs, but the police said they must conduct further investigation to verify the credibility of the document before summoning those mentioned. "The document had thumbprints and a social security number and seems to have been written by Jang,'' a police officer said.
Her family members first opposed revealing the document but changed their minds and asked for further investigation since some contents of the letter had already been disclosed.
Yoo Jang-ho, Jang's former manager and head of management agency Hoyaspotainment, were in possession of the document and first leaked it to the public. He was hospitalized after a failed suicide attempt, Friday.
However, police said they are not sure whether the document they have found is the one Yoo disclosed and presumed the possibility of the existence of more than one document. Yoo said he burnt the letter in front of Jang's family and does not have any copies of the letter.
Kim Sung-hoon, head of Jang's last agency, was quoted as claiming that the documents are fabricated, adding that Jang's former manager "fabricated" the letters out of his disgruntlement over four criminal and civil lawsuits filed against him.
Meanwhile, the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) will provide standardized contract forms to entertainment agencies in the first half of the year. "Jang's letter aroused concern toward the unfairness of entertainers' contracts once again," a FTC official said. "We found several unfair contracts at big agencies last year, but it's almost impossible to investigate hundreds of small- and medium-sized companies.''
The FTC will continuously supervise management agencies to rid them of unfair contracts in addition to the enforcement of standard contract terms.
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