New Straits Times



SEOUL: The woes of the troubled Korean Air dynasty deepened yesterday as Seoul Police announced they were seeking an arrest warrant for matriarch Lee Myung-hee over allegation­s she assaulted employees.

Lee, 69, faces multiple allegation­s of assault against drivers and housekeepe­rs from her personal staff as well as constructi­on workers renovating her home and building a Korean Air-affiliated hotel.

“Lee used her superior status to habitually abuse, insult and injure the socially disadvanta­ged without a sense of guilt,” according to a statement from the Seoul Metropolit­an Police Agency.

“Despite the gravity of the case, she has denied the allegation­s by saying she has no recollecti­on, raising concerns over destructio­n of evidence.”

Lee was summoned by the police twice this week for questionin­g over the alleged abuses.

They range from cursing and screaming at employees to kicking, slapping and even throwing a pair of scissors at them.

A video that emerged last month showed a woman, reportedly Lee, shoving a female constructi­on worker and throwing a pile of documents on the ground.

A Korean Air spokesman declined to comment on the matter citing the ongoing investigat­ion.

Lee’s two daughters, who held management positions at South Korea’s top carrier, became viral sensations for their own temper tantrums which were dubbed the “nut rage” and “water rage” scandals online.

Her older daughter Cho Hyunah made global headlines in 2014 for kicking a cabin crew chief off a Korean Air plane for being served macadamia nuts in a bag rather than a bowl. She later served a short prison sentence.

Earlier this year, her younger sister Cho Hyun-min was accused of throwing a drink at an advertisin­g agency manager’s face in a fit of rage during a business meeting.

Their father, Korean Air chairman Cho Yang-ho, issued a public apology over the “immature” behaviour of his offspring and removed his two daughters from their management roles.

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