South Korean actress criticized for antics with 19-year-younger husband

By Nam Phuong   January 24, 2024 | 06:32 am PT
Popular South Korean actress Ham So-won has continued to take heat for sharing seemingly-contrived stories about her married life with Chinese husband Jin Hua, nearly two decades her junior, for attention.

During an appearance on the reality show Taste of Wife, Ham So-won admitted to regularly accessing her husband's Instagram account to delete his direct messages.

She candidly mentioned, "I go onto my husband’s Instagram account frequently and delete all his direct messages. Often there will be messages that come after I delete them saying things like, ‘I think Ham So-won erased my previous messages.’ I delete those too."

Actress Ham So-won and her husband Jin Hua. Photo by Ham So-won Instagram.

Actress Ham So-won and her husband Jin Hua. Photo by Ham So-won Instagram.

When the actress was asked if her husband knew that she was deleting his messages, she responded that he did.

Ham’s revelation sparked criticism online. Many perceived it as just one more in a series of publicity stunts the couple has been accused of for years.

In 2018, Ham So-won first made headlines by announcing her marriage to Jin Hua, who is 18 years younger than her. Her in-laws then appeared on the reality show Taste of Wife to show off what they said was their family mansion and vacation home in China.

However, suspicions were raised that the luxury homes were fake when internet users discovered a listing on Airbnb that looks similar to one of the vacation homes that was featured on the show. Rumors circulated that Ham may have embellished Jin Hua's background to project an image of marrying into affluence.

In April 2023, Ham posted a video on her YouTube channel stating that she was seeking a divorce. However, just six hours later, the couple appeared on a livestream together, affirming their commitment to remaining a family. The ordeal left the public skeptical.

Some internet users even called for a boycott of the actress because they believed that she had exploited her 19-year age gap relationship with her husband and curated an untruthful image of their personal life to amass attention.

Ham, 48, entered show business in 1997 after winning a beauty contest. She starred in the box office hit "Sex Is Zero" in 2002, as well as the TV series "My Big Family," which ran from 2002-2003.

She and Jin got married in 2018, despite disagreements from both families due to their age gap. In 2021, on a South Korean TV show, she was criticized for bullying her husband and manipulating his family.

She admitted that her in-laws were distressed and hurt when she and Jin participated in the TV show and were criticized by the public.

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