Korean Air heiress accused of spousal, child abuse

Korean Air executive Cho Hyun-Ah (centre) after she received a suspended jail sentence from a court in Seoul, in May 2015, over her "nut rage" tantrum on board a plane the year before. Cho's husband has accused her of abusing him and their young chil
Korean Air executive Cho Hyun-Ah (centre) after she received a suspended jail sentence from a court in Seoul, in May 2015, over her "nut rage" tantrum on board a plane the year before. Cho's husband has accused her of abusing him and their young children.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

SEOUL • The husband of a Korean Air (KAL) heiress, known for a "nut rage" tantrum that sparked uproar in South Korea, has accused his wife of abusing him and their young children, police said.

Cho Hyun-ah shot to international infamy in 2014 when she lost her temper over the way she was served nuts in first class on a plane before its takeoff from New York.

She was sentenced to a year in prison for hampering an air route after ordering the Seoul-bound Korean Air plane back to the gate so she could have a flight attendant taken off. She was later cleared on appeal and served just five months.

Her husband, surnamed Park, said Cho had physically and verbally abused him and their five-year-old twin sons since her release from jail in 2015. He filed charges against Cho on Wednesday.

"He is suing her for child abuse and inflicting of bodily injury, among other things," an officer at the National Police Agency told Agence France-Presse yesterday.

Cho and Mr Park, a plastic surgeon, first met in elementary school and married in 2010. They are in the process of divorcing.

Mr Park shared photographs of his neck and toe wounds with a local TV station, claiming they were inflicted by Cho, and said he had submitted photos and video footage of the abuse to police.

 
 

In the video, Cho allegedly shouts "Die! Die!" at Mr Park. He also claimed Cho threw spoons and chopsticks at their young children for "not eating quickly enough" and verbally abused them for "not falling asleep".

A spokesman for Cho's law firm Sejong denied the allegations, claiming Mr Park is an alcoholic and that his memories are flawed.

The firm also alleged that Mr Park was hospitalised for alcoholism three times during his marriage to Cho.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 22, 2019, with the headline 'KAL heiress accused of spousal, child abuse'. Print Edition | Subscribe