Dads Against the Divorce Industry

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Angelil rape accuser prosecuted
From correspondents in Los Angeles
08 mar 03

A WOMAN who accused Canadian diva Celine Dion's husband of rape is being prosecuted for allegedly trying to extort $US13.5 million ($A22 million) from him, court officials said today.

Yun Kyeong Sung, 47, and her husband, Ae Hoe Kwon, were indicted in the US desert gambling oasis of Las Vegas on charges of extortion on Wednesday, officials said.

"We have received an indictment charging the couple with extortion in connection with a lawsuit they filed over the earlier allegations of sexual assault against Mr Rene Angelil," a court official said.

Sung had earlier claimed that 61-year-old Angelil, Dion's husband of eight years, followed her into the lift of her Las Vegas hotel and then sexually molested her before allegedly raping her in her room in March 2000.

She and her husband also filed a civil lawsuit against Angelil over the alleged sex attack that the singer's husband always vehemently denied.

But in January, police in Las Vegas dropped the rape charges against Angelil saying there was insufficient evidence to pursue the case and charged Sung and Kwon with extortion.

The couple of Korean origin was arrested after allegedly demanding a large sum of cash for Angelil during a meeting at his lawyer's office in Las Vegas, police said. They were later released on $US7000 ($A11,420) bail each.

The indictment charged the couple with extortion, soliciting a bribe and conspiracy to commit extortion after they allegedly threatened to "aggressively cooperate with a police investigation and likely criminal prosecution" of Angelil unless he paid them millions of dollars.

They also warned they would attempt to publish a book about Angelil's "purported criminal behaviour" and initiate a website making allegations about him if the cash was not forthcoming.

But Sung and Kwon's lawyer, Robert Langford, said the charges were "absolutely untrue".

"This occurred in the course of a typical civil litigation settlement conference," he was quoted as saying by the Las Vegas Review Journal.

"It is truly one of the most horrendous travesties of justice that I have seen in a long time," he added of the indictment.

Angelil has represented Dion, 34, since the singer was 12. The couple married in December 1994. Their son Rene-Charles was born in January 2001.

Canadian Dion, who is best known for her mega-hit, My Heart Will Go On, from the blockbuster film Titanic, is due to begin a three-year engagement at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas this month.

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