SEOUL, South Korea — He has lectured in European universities and appeared on the cover of a British magazine. His book was translated into a dozen languages. He was once a guest on CNN.
Jang Jin-sung is one of the most internationally recognized defectors from North Korea. His 2014 memoir, “Dear Leader,” enthralled readers with what he said were firsthand descriptions of a private party held by Kim Jong-il, the former North Korean leader, and claims of what it was like to be one of the few “poet laureates” chosen to write propaganda about the Kim family.
But two women say his heroic tale of escape from the authoritarian country masked a secret. Both have accused Mr. Jang of raping them in South Korea after he defected, and they said that he had used his celebrity status to prey on them.
One woman, a North Korean defector, has filed a lawsuit accusing both Mr. Jang and one of his associates of rape and other sex crimes. The other woman came forward with allegations this week in interviews with The New York Times and other media outlets in South Korea. She has not filed a formal complaint with the police against Mr. Jang, and said her main intention was to show solidarity with the other woman.
Mr. Jang, 49, has denied the allegations and said he had never raped the North Korean defector and that his relationship with the second woman had been consensual. The associate has also denied the allegations and has countersued the North Korean woman for defamation. Mr. Jang has threatened to countersue her as well, and has already sued the television company that first
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