'Nut rage' woman faces criminal investigation for stranglehold

Lim Chang-won Reporter Posted : 2019-02-20 09:53 Updated : 2019-02-20 17:25
글씨작게 글씨크게

[Courtesy of Korean Air]

SEOUL -- A divorce suit involving Cho Hyun-ah, a former Korean Air vice president known for a "nut rage" incident in 2014, took a new turn this week after her husband asked for a separate criminal investigation into her alleged stranglehold, violence, and child abuse.  

The husband identified by his surname, Park, filed complaints with police Tuesday, submitting photographs and videos showing scars around his neck and on his toe as evidence that Cho's violent acts had caused injuries. He also accused Cho of having abused her twin sons.

Cho used to throw a tantrum, shouting and assaulting her husband with a stranglehold or throwing a tablet PC that had his big toe flesh fallen off, Park said, accusing her of throwing a spoon at her children for eating food slowly and shouting abuse for going to sleep late.

Cho said through her lawyers that she has never abused her children "physically or mentally," accusing Park of making false claims and having a lapse of memory due to alcoholism. "Basically, in the process of treating alcoholic poisoning symptoms, (Park) did not properly follow medical instructions and caused disputes."

Cho, 44, married her elementary school classmate in October 2010. They have been separated from May 2017. Park, who runs an orthopedic clinic, filed for a divorce suit in April last year along with a claim for child rearing. He insisted he has suffered from frequent ranting and assault.

Cho has refuted Park's claims, saying that her marriage became difficult because of Park's alcoholism. The husband claimed to have become dependent on alcohol because of the stress he received during his marriage.

Park argued that the frequency of ranting and assault increased after the "nut rage" incident. The eldest daughter of Hanjin Group chairman Cho Yang-ho became enraged in December 2014 when a flight attendant served her some nuts in a bag, rather than on a plate, on board a flight that was forced back to the gate while taxiing to the runway.

Cho Hyun-ah was given a twelve-month prison sentence on conviction of violating aviation safety laws, but an appeals court overturned the conviction and handed down a suspended jail term, allowing her to walk free in May 2015.

Hanjin saw its image plunging this year due to a scandal involving the chairman's youngest daughter, Cho Hyun-min, who allegedly threw a glass cup and sprayed plum juice during a business meeting with advertising agency officials on March 16. She told investigators that she lost her temper because the advertising company did not properly answer her questions.

The scandal fueled widespread public anger, leading to multiple investigations into the chairman, his wife and children on charges of creating a slush fund, evading taxes, bringing in luxury foreign goods illegally, abusing and assaulting company employees and others. No one has been arrested.