[Newsmaker] Ex-presidential spokesperson denies allegations on power abuse, affair

By Jo He-rim
  • Published : Mar 11, 2018 - 17:00
  • Updated : Mar 11, 2018 - 17:23
Park Soo-hyun, the former presidential spokesman and the ruling party’s contender for South Chungcheong governor, denied all allegations of adultery and abuse of power against him on Sunday, saying they are political maneuverings.

In a press briefing at the National Assembly, Park said the claim raised by his former aide Oh Young-hwan is fabricated, as part of Oh and his former wife’s revenge against him for not complying with their requests. Oh had first raised the allegations on Tuesday that Park had unfairly nominated his “secret mistress” to the proportional representative member of Gongju City Council, and that the former lawmaker divorced his wife because of the extramarital relationship.

Park Soo-hyun (Yonhap)

“Oh and my ex-wife had asked for illegal favors involving some tens of billions of won in July last year, when I was serving as the spokesman for the presidential office,” Park said.

The two had asked Park to give them a 20-year lease-free portion of land in Gangnam, Seoul and grant them a business license, using his authority as the spokesman for the presidential office, Park said. The former lawmaker said he was also asked to introduce them to a bank that would offer low interest loans of 65 billion won to purchase two filling stations in Gangnam and Bundang, Gyeonggi Province.

“I rejected right away. Not only did I not have the power, but as a public servant, I was also embarrassed to hear such solicitation,” he said.

Park also raised suspicions that a de facto power may have pulled the wires from behind to politically bring him down, as his former wife and Oh do not have the “guts” to plot such affairs. But he did not specify a faction or a person, adding that it is only rational to think in such way.

As the #MeToo movement is actively spreading here, Park clarified that all the slander against him has nothing to do with the social activism and that they should not be used to hurt the good intentions of the movement.

The provincial governor contender, who was also the spokesman for the former South Chungcheong Gov. An Hee-jung, announced that he will temporarily stop his electioneering after An was revealed to have sexually assaulted his female secretary. He had expressed regret over the misbehavior of “his friend.”

As for his marriage which ended in September 2017, he explained it was not because of the claimed affair but that he and his wife was separated for 11 years for financial reasons.

“It is my financial incompetence that led to my marriage failure. And for my wife’s privacy, I will not speak further about it,” he said.

Park also elaborated that the female member of the city council is a divorced mother of a disabled child and that she had proved herself to be qualified for the position after working for the council for six years.

By Jo He-rim (