Billionaire Chey Tae-won Ordered To Pay Ex-Wife $1 Billion In Largest Divorce Settlement

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Chey Tae-won

Chey Tae-won, chairman of South Korea’s conglomerate SK Group, has been ordered to pay 1.38 trillion won ($1 billion) to his ex-wife in the most significant divorce settlement ever recorded in the country. The BBC says that this is an important ruling that comes after almost a decade of court battles filed shortly after Chey Tae-won’s marriage broke up in a scandal over an extra-marital affair and a child born to his mistress.

The Seoul High Court, on Thursday, favored Roh So-young’s ruling that she be given some of Chey Tae-won’s company assets after their 35-year marriage. She is the daughter of Lee’s mentor, former President Roh Tae-woo. Lawyers for Chey said they would appeal the verdict, which they said was made solely on the evidence of Roh So-young.

It was a hefty increase from the 66.5 billion won that a lower court had ruled in 2022 as a settlement: a total of 1.38 trillion won that the Seoul High Court awarded to Roh So-young. The earlier family court had dismissed So-young’s plea for having a share of Chey Tae-won’s SK shares, holding that he is right only to be overruled by the Seoul High Court. It held that because the shares are joint assets, it was found in her favor.

The court decided the wife “had played a part in enhancing the value of SK Group and Chey’s business projects,” and thus Chey Tae-won’s fortune, which the court estimated at around 4 trillion won, should be about 35 percent of this to be shared with the three children’s mother, Roh So-young. “The court also named Myung, saying she also contributed to Chey Tae-won in recent eight years to increase the business by helping to stitch up the regulatory disputes and that Roh Tae-woo has been a great father and played the role of the ‘shield’ to Chey Jong-hyon, former chairman of SK Group in taking up the role as a father in protecting Chey’s company.”

The court also observed that Chey had not shown remorse “for his misbehavior during the trial… nor regard for monogamy.” The court even referred to Roh Soo-young’s psychological pain and torment that she had suffered as the result of Chey Tae-won’s infidelity into consideration of the higher amount of settlement. Chey’s lawyers, on their part, argued that her political family ties had worked to their client’s detriment rather than her client’s advantage. However, with that all said, the world’s leading giant semiconductor with diversified telecoms, chemicals, and energy interest shares of SK Inc. has increased a remarkable 9% in stock market trading.


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