South Korea’s South Chungcheong Province Governor An Hee-jung, once dubbed as a rising star in the liberal front after formidably challenging Moon Jae-in in the primary for presidential candidacy, fell shamefully from grace after his private secretary came forward in a TV news about his repeated sexual assaults.
An apologized to the victim and the public for his misconduct and announced he was retiring from public post and politics entirely on his Facebook early Tuesday after the interview with the victim was aired in evening news on Monday.
Speaking at the JTBC newsroom to “become free from the ordeal and An and to seek the help of public protection”, Kim Ji-eun, An’s personal secretary, alleged she had been assaulted by her boss four times over the last eight months she served him.
She claimed she had sought help from others and resisted her boss in the best possible way she can, although she was in the position to take orders from An without any questions.
She decided to come forward through the TV because she felt helpless in the establishment and as the governor once again violated her after speaking about the ongoing Me Too movement in Korea and apologizing for his past misdeeds.
The ruling Democratic Party held an emergency meeting and announced it was expelling An in fear of negative backlash in the June local elections. The police immediately launched an investigation.
The 52-year-old began political career as a secretary to former liberal president Roh Moo-hyun. He once ran as the second runner in the DP primary after Moon.
By Kim Gi-chul and Lee Ha-yeon
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]