About Lee Ji Ah
Lee Ji Ah’s personal profile has been shrouded in mystery, dubbed by the Korean press as an “alien” for keeping her privacy well protected. Because she moved to the U.S. in 1993, media and fans have had difficulty finding her personal, pre-stardom information. Her level of secrecy was later understood to be linked to her secret marriage to pop/rock singer Seo Taiji herself a notoriously enigmatic figure.
What later became known is that she was born Kim Sang Eun in South Korea. Her grandfather Kim Soon Heung was a notable figure in Korea’s education industry; she donated a large sum of money in 1976 for the establishment of the famous Seoul Arts High School, and was also the president of another prestigious school, Kyunggi High School. Her father was a businessman who oversaw business affairs in Korea and the United States, and it is said that when she was in sixth grade, her family moved to the U.S. and stayed there for 10 years. Her profile lists her birth date as February 2, 1981, but court documents later placed her birth year as 1978.
During a brief visit to Korea in 2004, she made her entertainment debut by appearing in an LG Telecom TV commercial with actor Bae Yong Joon she left the U.S. and returned to Korea in early 2005. She legally changed her name from Kim Sang Eun to Kim Ji Ah, then adopted the stage name Lee Ji Ah (also romanized as E Jiah).
In 2007, the then unknown landed a huge acting debut starring role in the fantasy TV series Tae Wang Sa Shin Gi (“The Four Guardian Gods of the King”, more popularly known as “The Four Guardian Gods of the King”) The Legend loosely based on Dangun and the 19th king of Goguryeo, Gwanggaeto the Great, The Legend was the long-awaited TV reappearance of Korean Wave star Bae Yong Joon at the year-end MBC Drama Awards, Lee received a total of three awards: Best Breakthrough Actress, Popularity Award, and Best Couple Award (with Bae). She again won Best Breakthrough Actress for Television at the Baeksang Arts Awards a year later.
Lee Ji Ah Facts
- Gawon Middle School.
- Art Center College of Design.
- Languages: Korean, English and Japanese.
- At the 2007 MBC Awards, Lee Ji Ah attracted a lot of attention with her dress, as she had made it herself.
- On April 21, 2011, Sports Seoul broke the story (later confirmed by numerous media outlets) that she and Seo Taiji had been secretly married since 1997, before separating in 2006.The news leaked after two hearings held at the Seoul Family Court (court documents using Seo and Lee’s birth names – Jung Hyun Chul and Kim Sang Eun, respectively) as Lee filed a ₩5. 5 million lawsuit against Seo for alimony and division of assets.This shocked the Korean entertainment scene, even her closest associates and friends confessed she had no knowledge of the relationship.Both celebrities were believed not to have been aware of the relationship.5 million lawsuit against Seo for alimony and division of assets.This shocked the Korean entertainment scene, as even her closest associates and friends confessed they had no knowledge of the relationship.Both celebrities were believed to be single.In particular, Lee who had recently admitted to dating Jung Woo Sung (they separated shortly after). According to the statement released through her agency, Lee went to the United States to study in 1993 and met Seo through an acquaintance at a concert in Los Angeles the same year. They kept in touch and developed a long-distance relationship through letters and phone calls while Lee stayed in the U.S. and Seo returned to Korea to continue her activities with her band Seo Taiji and Boys. In 1996, Seo disbanded Seo Taiji and Boys and announced her retirement from show business, after which she moved to the U.S., where she and Lee quietly married on October 12, 1997. The couple lived in the U.S., moving to Atlanta and then to Arizona. They separated when Seo returned to Korea in June 2000 for her comeback to the K-pop scene as a solo artist. Lee, who stayed in the U.S., began divorce proceedings in 2006 in Santa Monica Family Court on the grounds that she was not a K-pop artist.
- When her five-year contract with Bae’s agency KeyEast expired on December 31, 2011, she signed with Will Entertainment in March 2012.
- In April 2014, Lee signed with a new management agency, HB Entertainment. This was followed by a three-film deal with independent Hollywood outfit Maybach Film Productions as a screenwriter.
Lee Ji Ah Advertisement
- 2007: Lotteria Hamburger
- 2007: Yi and Nox
- 2007: Lotte Candy: Anytime
Lee Ji Ah Drama
- The Penthouse 3 (SBS, 2021)
- The Penthouse 2 (SBS, 2021)
- The Penthouse (SBS, 2020)
- The Ghost Detective (KBS2, 2018)
- My Ahjussi (tvN, 2018)
- Dramaworld (Viki, 2016) Cameo
- Snow Lotus (SBS, 2015)
- The Woman Who Married Three Times (SBS, 2013)
- Me Too, Flower! (MBC, 2011)
- Athena (SBS, 2010)
- The Fool That I Love (SBS, 2009)
- Style (SBS, 2009)
- Beethoven Virus (MBC, 2008)
- The Legend (MBC, 2007)
Lee Ji Ah Films
- Musudan (2016)
Lee Ji Ah TV Programs
- Sea of Hope (jTBC, 2021)
- 2020 SBS Drama Awards: Top Excellence Actress in Mid-Length/Long Drama (The Penthouse)
- 2007 MBC Awards: Best New Actress Award
- 2007 MBC Awards: Popularity award
Lee Ji Ah Music Videos
- Soulstar & Wanted – I Can’t Help But Love You (2011)
- Vibe – Come Back (2010)