Highest-paid South Korean actor Kim Soo Hyun suffers troubled relationship with estranged father

By Nguyen Huong   April 15, 2024 | 06:21 pm PT
South Korean actor Kim Soo Hyun is said to have a difficult relationship with his father Kim Chung Hoon, who left him and his mother to start anew with another woman years ago.
South Korean actor Kim Soo Hyun. Photo from Kims management agencys Instagram

South Korean actor Kim Soo Hyun. Photo from Kim's management agency's Instagram

According to Nate, Kim Chung Hoon held a wedding ceremony at his home on Saturday, which Kim Soo Hyun did not attend, exacerbating speculations of the longstanding tension between them, rooted in the actor’s upbringing by his mother alone after his father abandoned them.

Despite apparent improvements in their relationship in recent years, with Kim Soo Hyun reportedly reaching out and even financially supporting his father’s new family, he rarely speaks of his father publicly. In contrast, Kim Chung Hoon and his new family often publicize their connection to the actor on TV, drawing criticism for seemingly exploiting his fame.

This situation came to a head when Kim Soo Hyun’s step-sister Kim Joon Ah—daughter of Kim Chung Hoon and a woman known as Ahn—introduced herself as the actor’s younger sister during her 2016 appearance on "Produce 101."

KeyEast Entertainment, Kim Soo Hyun’s management agency at the time, responded by stating that Kim Soo Hyun and Kim Joon Ah did not grow up together.

Furthermore, after Kim Soo Hyun commenced his military service in 2017, Kim Chung Hoon’s expressed during an interview his desire to visit and share a meal with the actor at the military camp faced public backlash.

"You abandoned your son and wife for another woman all these years, and now pretends that you, Kim Soo Hyun, and your own daughter [Kim Joon Ah] are one big happy family?" read a comment by an online coimmunity user.

Amidst speculation about his family dynamics, Kim Soo Hyun has chosen to remain silent.

At 36, Kim made his television debut in 2007 and has since become a prominent figure through successful series such as "Dream High," "The Moon Embracing the Sun," "My Love from the Star," "It’s Okay to Not Be Okay," and "Queen of Tears."

He started pursuing acting in his school years and now stands as the top-earning actor in South Korea, maintaining the highest average pay per episode among actors for several years, with an impressive rate of US$165,000 per episode. This surpasses actor Hyun Bin’s US$84,000-per-episode payment, actors So Ji Sub’s and Jo In Sung’s US$67,000-per-episode fees, and actor Lee Min Ho’s US$62,000-per-episode rate.

Beyond acting, Kim Soo Hyun secures significant income from endorsement contracts with prominent brands.

As of now, the actor has amassed an estimated net worth of US$117 million, with a portfolio that includes diverse real estate holdings, luxury vehicles, and shares in various companies.

His most recent acquisition is a US$6.5 million residence in Seongsu-dong, one of Seoul’s highly coveted areas, purchased last month. This signifies Kim’s third property investment in the neighborhood, bringing the total value of his holdings in the area to approximately 30 billion won (US$22.4 million).

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