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Leading Actress Admits Faking Educational Background

2007/08/16 | Permalink | Source

The list of prominent people who lied about their educational background is growing by the day, now including former Dongguk University asst. professor Shin Jeong-ah, KBS radio host Lee Jiyoung, Dankook University professor and head of Dongsoong Art Center Kim Ock-rang, cartoonist Lee Hyeon-se and the director of the blockbuster "D-War", Shim Hyung-rae. The latest addition is Yoon Suk-hwa (51), one of the Korea's three foremost dramatic actresses along with Park Jung-ja and Son Sook.

On her personal homepage, Yoon on Tuesday posted a message titled "Confession" admitting on Tuesday that she never went to the prestigious Ewha Womans University. A youthful lie, she said, "gagged me for the past 30 years". In books and in media interviews, Yoon has said she enrolled in Ewha's Department of Applied Arts but dropped out after a year.

"I confess as if confessing to a priest", she writes. "I pray that I may be forgiven". Attached is a letter with the title "To my beloved friends". In the letter she said "On finding out about Prof. Kim Ock-rang's revelation, my conscience rebelled. Through excruciating regret, I decided to muster the courage and confess in the hope that I may be forgiven".

Internet users commenting on her website and the site expressed shock, saying although she did not do as much harm as the academics, who could be accused of stealing positions from those better qualified, she was a prominent figure. Some praised her courage, but others pointed to past interviews when Yoon particularly stressed her Ewha background. Some also cast doubt on her claim to have attended New York University.

A fellow student of Yoon's at Keumran High School had in fact already blown the whistle at the time of the Kim Ock-rang scandal. Ewha Womans University on Tuesday confirmed it had no record of Yoon's attendance.

Debuting in 1975 in the play "A Taste of Honey" with the drama company Minjoong, Yoon has appeared in many plays and musicals including "Agnes of God", "Letter to a Daughter", 'Wit', "The Last Empress" and "Nonsense". She also took over the monthly magazine Auditorium in 1999. Known to be at a retreat in Gyeonggi Province, she could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

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