Seo Jung Hee, elevator assault victim, says she’s been a hostage in her marriage of 32 years


Seo Jung Hee, the ex-wife of Seo Se Won, was the victim of a much publicized assault in and near an elevator that was captured on camera. Now, during the court case for a different assault, Seo Jung Hee has testified that she’s been a hostage in her marriage of 32 years, which started with a sexual assault and had included almost daily assaults from the comedian-turned-priest.

On March 12th, Seo Se Won went through his fourth hearing at Seoul Central District Court for alleged domestic violence against his wife. In May of last year, investigations began when Seo Jung Hee first sued her husband for violence towards her in the parking lot of their home and the two have been in and out of the court since then.

Seo Jung Hee stood as a witness on the fourth hearing and spoke up openly about their marriage. She confessed, “I met my husband for the first time when I was 19, which led to a series of events that I did not consent to and became married within two months. Since then, I have been like a hostage in the marriage for over 32 years.” She continued, “I was beaten by Seo Se Won almost every day for the last 32 years. I was also choked to a point that my tongue and eyes were popping out.” Seo Jung Hee added that her life felt threatened during these series of events.

Seo Jung Hee also stated that she believed her husband would change after he became a priest but in fact his violent actions became worse. She confessed, “I was enduring through the marriage and did not consider a divorce because I was scared of my husband.”

Just to recap a bit, Seo Se Won’s defense for the elevator assault was that he was trying to get his wife away from mystery kidnappers, which his wife pointed out was a ridiculous excuse. However, that matter appeared settled when she agreed to drop charges in exchange for a divorce and an apology.

Given all that, I’m honestly unclear if this case is: 1) for one of the other numerous accusations of assault against him 2) connected to the elevator assault but only covering another accusation in that same case where he drove her home, took her down to the basement, and then choked/beat her 3) is a civil suit pertaining to damages suffered as a result of all the abuse. Whatever the case may be, it doesn’t change the reality of what transpired, which one can only described as horrifying.

It’s not stated explicitly in the translation, but basically what she’s saying is that her relationship with her ex-husband started with sexual assault and sexual abuse, after which she was made to marry him and subjected to further abuse and assaults over the course of 32 years in her own personal prison living under him.

Now, as far as I know, there’s currently minimal evidence for those claims she made in court, but since all this was a part of her daily life, it’s unlikely there would be a trail of evidence, and I’m not sure it matters anyway. Personally, it’s difficult to not believe her when we have video evidence of the husband dragging her around like she wasn’t human and then trying to cover it up by saying “back then I did not think this was a huge assault” (inferring he’s done worse), telling the press that he did it to rescue her, and recruiting people who worked with him to claim that he was only trying to help her.

Everything reasonable points to him being deranged, and I’m hoping there’s a way to get this guy jail time because I just don’t think people like him are safe to be out and around … well, anybody, much less his now ex-wife.


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