Back in the year 2010, Epik High member Daniel Lee, stage name Tablo, got embroiled in a controversy surrounding the credibility of his college education. An internet cafe named “TaJinYo” (a Korean acronym meaning “We Request the Truth from Tablo”), accused Tablo of lying about the degrees he had received from California’s Stanford University. Last July, the members of TaJinYo were sentenced to prison time and probation for libel and defamation of Tablo. Today marks the beginning of the TaJinYo members’ trial in Seoul’s Central District Court to appeal their fate.
Tablo’s career in the Korean entertainment industry began shortly after he finished receiving a Bachelor’s degree in English and a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Stanford University. What was so incredulous to the TaJinYo defamation group was that Tablo had received his degrees in just three-and-a-half years. They began questioning Tablo’s supposedly “falsified” degrees, spreading rumors that they had “proof” of Tablo’s deception.
Tablo brought a case against 22 of the members in the TaJinYo fan cafe in 2010. Finally, three of the cafe members received a sentence of ten months in prison after last July’s final hearing (and were placed into custody immediately), while another six members of the cafe received eight to ten months of prison time with two years of probation. The three offenders sentenced immediately, as well as three of the six members with less severe sentences, appealed to the court just days after being sentenced last July.
Their appeals trial began today, and the six TanJinYo members appealing their sentences reportedly submitted to the court a large number of petitions as well as essays of apology because of their actions. Whether or not Tablo will be able to forgive their defamation is unknown, however the members of TaJinYo have expressed their deepest apologies for what they have done.
The TaJinYo members stated, “We apologize to Tablo and his family. Though it’s shameless, we ask for leniency from the court.” Another, one of the immediately sentenced members, further replied, “I made Tablo suffer mentally and materially. [I apologize with all my heart] During my two months at the detention center, I regretted my past actions. I plan to delete everything I’ve posted, and to withdraw from the fan cafe. I will not behave in a way that causes harm to others in the future.”
The courts expect the TaJinYo members will not fight their sentences, but rather appeal to the court for leniency. The TaJinYo appeals case will likely last for the next month, as the appeal deadline for this case is set for October 6. What do you make of this whole appeals/apology situation with Tablo and the TaJinYo fan cafe members? Leave your opinions in the comment section below.