SK Group chairman's estranged wife seeks $1.5B alimony in cash

By Linh Le   January 11, 2024 | 02:01 am PT
Roh Soh-yeong, the estranged wife of SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, has revised her alimony claim, now seeking a staggering 2 trillion won (US$1.5 billion) in cash.
SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won (C) answers reporters questions as he appears at the Seoul Prosecutors Office in Seoul, South Korea on Nov. 19, 2011. Photo by Reuters

SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won (C) answers reporters' questions as he appears at the Seoul Prosecutors' Office in Seoul, South Korea on Nov. 19, 2011. Photo by Reuters

During the first trial in Dec. 2022, Roh initially requested half of the 12,975,472 SK shares owned by Chey, valued at approximately 1.3 trillion won at the time, alongside 300 million won in alimony, as reported by the South Korean newspaper The Chosun Ilbo.

However, the court denied her request, citing her lack of contribution to the increase in the shares' value. It consequently ruled that Roh would receive 100 million won in alimony and a cash sum of 66.5 billion won from Chey.

Both parties disagreed with this decision and subsequently filed appeals.

According to the South Korean newspaper Korea JoongAng Daily, Roh's decision to change her claims may have been influenced by the decline in SK's stock values and additional revelations about Chey's financial transactions, which were disclosed following an order from the appellate court.

SK Group's shares have seen a decrease in value, dropping from 200,000 won in Dec. 2022 to 160,000 won in January this year. Consequently, the value of the shares initially sought by Roh has decreased from 1.36 trillion won to 1.1 trillion won.

Roh and Chey are scheduled to appear in the appeal trial on Thursday, marking the first time the two parties have met in court since the appeal process began.

Chey, 63, is the eldest son of Chey Jong-hyun, the former chairman of SK Group. He assumed the role of chairman in 1998 following his father's passing. Forbes estimated his net worth at around $1.5 billion.

Roh, 62, is an art museum director and the daughter of Roh Tae-woo, who served as the sixth president of South Korea from 1988 to 1993.

The couple married in 1988 and initiated their divorce settlement between 2017 and 2019 after Chey admitted to fathering a child out of wedlock with his current live-in partner, Kim Hee-young, as reported by Yonhap News Agency.

Roh had previously filed a lawsuit against Kim in March of the previous year, demanding 3 billion won in compensation for the alleged mental stress inflicted by Kim, as highlighted in a 2023 report by Korea JoongAng Daily.

go to top