Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Because everyone named Lee is related, right?

above: Actor Christian Navarro and actress/model and possible Samsung heiress Lisette Lee, who looks a lot better here than in her mug shot.
The Asian Kyŏngje and other Korean media are reporting in Korean that American media are reporting that a twenty-eight-year-old woman named Lisette Lee — you may remember her as Baby Sugar Mama from the 2008 movie The Doorman — has been arrested for smuggling some 230 kilos (slightly more than 500 pounds) of marijuana from Columbus, Ohio, to Southern California. Brian has the story (see link above), although I first heard about it from occasional Marmot's Hole commenter lmno, no relation to commenter abcedefg.

From the Los Angeles Times:
And when drug-sniffing dogs identified a positive narcotics odor, agents found more than 506 pounds — or 23 bales — of marijuana stuffed inside the suitcases.

In interviews with agents, Lee claimed she was a model and recording artist, the complaint states.

She said that this was her fourth trip and that she could afford the chartered plane — which her family kept on retainer — because she was associated with several multimillion-dollar businesses, according to the complaint.

After her arrest, rumors swirled that Lee was an heir to the Samsung Electronics fortune, though the company issued a statement denying it.

Lee was charged with conspiracy and possession with the intent to distribute narcotics.

On a previous flight, also from Van Nuys to Columbus, she traveled with the same group and also carried an "excessive amount of luggage," according to the complaint.

Lee claimed that the luggage held supplies for a horse farm in Columbus, agents said.

Lee told agents she had come to visit her boyfriend, who recently had purchased a horse farm in Ohio and asked her to transport some equipment for him. She told officials she did not know his last name.
Okay, then. The Australian media at least are reporting that she is a Samsung heiress, though Samsung has denied this. Brian described her as a "woman claiming to be a Samsung heiress," though the LAT article above only refers to "rumors [that] swirled" about that.

Could it be that this is either (a) a bogus claim she made to throw investigators off the truth or (b) something that the gawking gawkers of Gawker pulled out of their arse or quoted others who pulled it out of their arse or assumed it based on something as flimsy as Lisette Lee having the same surname as Lee Kunhee, the founder of Samsung? Rumors are also suggesting she's related to Sony founder Mr Akio Morita.

Right there, I would have called b.s. on whatever she was saying or suggesting. There are some weird arranged marriages between powerful people, but the likelihood of a Samsung family member getting together with a relative of the Sony founder back in the 1970s is, well, not likely. Not impossible, mind you, but not likely. It's the kind of thing you would tell someone who doesn't know Hyundai from Honda when you're trying to impress them.

This grifter (?) reminds me of Will Smith's "Paul" character in Six Degrees of Separation.

Anyway, what's interesting is that the Asia Kyŏngje article and other links I found did not mention Samsung by name, only referring to her as a "재벌가 상속녀," or chaebŏl heiress. 


  1. Does anybody know what the real story is on this girl? If she claims to be the "heiress"...it could just mean she is one (of many) of the illegitimate kids that the Samsung chairman (or his brothers) had. There was a scandal in the early '90s of an elevator girl whom he got pregnant and now has to provide child support.

  2. I suspect it's something she just made up. Had the Akio Morita connection not been made, her story would be far more credible, but now it really does just sound like something she's throwing out there for people to latch onto so they'll believe she's connected.

    Really, the Six Degrees of Separation comparison is apt. The Will Smith character conned rich White liberals into thinking he was related to the "good" Black people they'd heard of, like Sidney Poitier.

    At any rate, I think one of the articles said her connection was as the daughter (or granddaughter) of the founder's sister, so the idea of her being the result of a a philanderer's seed — the one believable element — loses traction.


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