Schröder sued by Korean cuckold
Former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder is being sued by his South Korean fiancée’s ex-husband for allegedly having an affair with her while they were still married.
Although affairs are no longer a criminal offence in South Korea, they remain grounds for civil action for damages. Until 2015 some adulterers, both the straying spouse and the lover, received Korean jail terms.
Schröder, 74, chancellor from 1998 until being beaten by Angela Merkel in 2005, announced his engagement to Kim So-yeon in January. The South Korean translator, 26 years his junior, divorced her husband in November.
Kim acted as a translator for Schröder at a management meeting two years previously, and the pair became “close”.
The former chancellor is currently in the news for his role pushing for ahead with the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which is due to send Russian gas to Germany in a pipeline under the Baltic Sea, bypassing war-torn Ukraine.
Schröder’s colourful private life and multiple marriages earned him the nicknames Lord of the Rings and Audi man, a reference to the carmaker’s four-ring symbol.
Journalist and politician Doris Schröder-Köpf, his fourth wife, claimed last September in the process of divorcing him that Kim had helped end the marriage. Schröder claimed his fiancée had nothing to do with his marital breakup.
The two started dating each other while both were still married, Kim’s ex-husband alleged and is suing Schroeder for 100 million won (US$94,000) for “unbearable mental distress”, according to the Yonhap news agency.
The agency said the suit was filed in the Seoul Family Court, without disclosing the husband’s name.
“[Schröder] continued extramarital affairs with Kim knowing she is a married woman, causing unbearable mental distress,” the court document said.
“Our marriage eventually fell apart, and the accused should be held responsible for his action.”
Kim is a Seoul representative of the Economic Development Agency of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and worked as a translator for the former Social Democratic leader.
The ex-chancellor has come under fire in recent months for taking on a position on the board of Russian energy giant Rosneft and for his alleged close links to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The post is contentious, with Russia continuing to be the target of EU sanctions over its role in the Ukraine conflict and its annexation of Crimea in 2014.
Schröder’s labour market and welfare reforms while in office were highly unpopular with the left of his party.
Gerhard Schröder and Kim So-yeon. Picture credit: YouTube