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Choi Sun-sil says she lived as ‘invisible person’ in serving Park

Choi Seo-won. Yonhap
Choi Seo-won. Yonhap

Choi Seo-yeon has claimed in a memoir that she served former President Park Geun-hye without any personal gains in mind, living as an “invisible person.”

Choi, better known by the name Choi Sun-sil, is Park’s confidante at the center of the scandal that led to Park’s eventual impeachment, removal from office and imprisonment. Choi is currently serving an 18-year prison sentence on various corruption charges. She is also the daughter of Choi Tae-min, a late cult leader who allegedly exercised significant influence over Park during her father Park Chung-hee’s administration.

In the as yet unpublished memoir, Choi says she sought no personal gains in her relationship with Park and that her only motivation was to “fill the empty space next to her, who doesn’t even have family near her.”

On the cover of the book, which is set to be published later this month, Choi says she wasn’t given a chance to defend herself, and that the memoir is aimed at setting the record straight.

Faced with a choice between serving Park and her family, she adds she opted to remain at Park’s side and divorce her husband Chung Yoon-hoi. Chung served as Park’s chief of staff during her time in the National Assembly. Chung was also implicated in a scandal that alleged that Chung interfered with state affairs.

In the memoir, Choi also claims that she became an “invisible person” when going to Cheong Wa Dae to meet with Park, and that the former president showed no interest in Choi’s personal affairs.

In the memoir, which includes her time in prison, Choi also says she was coerced and threatened by the investigators looking into the allegations surrounding herself and Park. Without revealing the name of the prosecutor involved, Choi said that the prosecutor gave her the choice between admitting that accusations against her are true or facing the wrath of the public.

By Choi He-suk (