Lawsuit Dropped as Cha Seung Won Reveals His Son Didn’t Know his Birth Secret Until Now

I like to be a completest if I’m covering a K-ent case and this latest one come came and went like a whirling dervish. Even before the dust settled on the shocking defamation lawsuit that led to the revelation that Cha Seung Won‘s eldest son Cha No Ah was not his by birth, the whole thing is over with the birth father of Cha No Ah dropping the lawsuit about as suddenly as him filing it in the first place. If this doesn’t scream extortion by attempting public blackmail I don’t know what else fits the M.O.

The worst part of this shakedown was the resigned but resilient admission by Cha Seung Won to reporters calling him to get an update that Cha No Ah never even knew that Cha Seung Won was not his birth father until this lawsuit was filed. Cha No Ah is now a twenty-five year old grown man but still the emotional shock cannot be underestimated. Cha Seung Won stressed that the entire family will grow stronger because of this challenge and will only work on loving each other more by conquering adversity together.

While I think the birth father’s defamation lawsuit is as meritless as it comes, he’s basing it on two facts (1) Cha Seung Won has led the public to believe he’s Cha No Ah’s birth father hence it ruined the real birth father’s good name, and (2) Cha Seung Won’s wife released a child rearing book in the late 90’s where she wrote that Cha No Ah was Cha Seung Won’s real son which is a lie. The allegations are spurious as best but Cha Seung Won candidly admitted that the book did contain that lie but it was done with the best of intentions to protect Cha No Ah at that time.

A reporter for Woman’s Daily has come out in support of Cha Seung Won and his wife, revealing that in an interview she did with Cha Seung Won’s wife in 1998, Cha Seung Won’s wife actually told her that Cha No Ah was not Cha Seung Won’s birth son. But the reporter decided not to run the story because it would be so devastating on young Cha No Ah to learn about it from the newspaper when he was just an 8 year old boy.

While I was reluctant to write about this case because it’s such a private matter, unfortunately a lawsuit is a public filing and with Cha Seung Won being a public figure there was no way the press would not hear about it and ask. I’m just happy to report that the Cha family has put the legal case behind them and can now work on healing the pain wrought by Cha No Ah’s very selfish birth father in putting this matter into the public eye.


Lawsuit Dropped as Cha Seung Won Reveals His Son Didn’t Know his Birth Secret Until Now — 52 Comments

  1. As much as I usually enjoy watching celebrity scandals unfold, this particular case makes me feel absolutely horrible. There is no human in the world who deserves his/her family secret to get exposed like that.

  2. Thank you, wisdom of the universe for stepping in here, but boo! that it had to affect the son so publicly.

    But, really, her first marriage wasn’t a secret, and the child’s dob is public record. Eventually, if the son wanted to, he could have gotten to the truth. You know, like in the dramas.

  3. I’m not sure if I’m not picking up on things, but where do you get that the biological father was trying to blackmail Cha Seung Won?

    From what I can tell, all it seems like is he wanted it acknowledged that he’s the biological father, and when that happened, he decided he got what he wanted even if he had to go through a lawsuit to obtain it.

    I think one plausible scenario is that he wanted to meet his son (finally, I might add!) and Cha Seung Won and his family didn’t want him to because that would open the can of worms that Cha No Ah didn’t know he wasn’t Cha Seung Won’s biological son.

    When he was denied access, he decided his only resort was to file the lawsuit. Now, that it’s out in the open, and there’s no reason to hide from Cha No Ah the truth, he can probably meet with Cha No Ah now.

    It actually kind of reminds me of Coffee Prince, now that I think of it.

      • Except it was dropped once Cha Seung Won publicly acknowledged that Cha No Ah wasn’t his biological son.

        Put yourself in the other person’s shoes, and think about what you would do if you weren’t allowed to meet your biological son, and you knew that it was based on a bunch of lies, and your son’s stepmother and father refused to let you even talk to him because he didn’t know that he was your biological son.

        Also, why would he drop charges so swiftly if all it takes to discredit his lawsuit is this public announcement.

        If he were REALLY interested in money and blackmailing Cha Seung Won and his family, he would have threatened to out the secret himself to Cha No Ah, and likely had a better shot at being paid off than ACTUALLY OUTING THE SECRET.

        Once the secret is out there, he wouldn’t have any leverage to extort money from Cha Seung Won.

        Hence, why I’m questioning why people think that the father was trying to extort and blackmail Cha Seung Won, when it seems really, really stupid to do that in this way.

      • Because lawsuits in Korea can be stopped with settlement money. By the way, he could have done it years ago. Why now The book was published years ago.

        And it’s inhuman and cruel to do that to his biological son. He’s an adult. See him yourself instead of filing a lawsuit on the man who’s raised him for 22 years.

        I don’t think the ends justify the means. This is like ” it’s a cruel secret but it’s better you find out”. He took the choices out of the actual family raising him. If your son has been happy for 22 years, as a father you think about your child first. It’s not what you want. Try some other way. No one should find out about adoption this way.

      • That just makes him a terrible father, not an extortionist or blackmailer.

        They’re not the same thing.

      • He might not have felt like he had any other choice than to go with the lawsuit.

        Think about it. If your son didn’t know that he was your biological son, and the family refused to let you even meet and talk to him because he didn’t know about it, and you couldn’t budge them from that, what would you do if you really wanted to meet him.

        And as much as it might hurt the kid (who’s now old enough to decide on his own), in the end the truth, while more painful now, might be better for the family in the long run.

      • Requiem case is weakened in that the father dropped the lawsuit, and honestly he could have brought the lawsuit a long time ago if it was just to see his son. If he did get paid off, then that shows what kind of father he is – willing to be paid off. I would never accept any amount of money to not see my child. Besides when Cha Seung Won adopted the kid, he was a nobody. He’s someones who’s become famous much later in life.

      • He may have dropped the suit when he realized he had no case, but he could just be stupid too.

    • Sorry, I disagree. I think those rights left long ago. For his birth mother to have put him up for adoption in the first place means the man didn’t want to acknowledge his son; however, whether it was 2 year..5 years, whatever, I am sure if his attempts to contact the young man at an earlier age, this lawsuit should have happened a long time ago. As CNA is 25 years old, it was simply to extort money.

      • Errrr, Cha Seung Won adopted Cha No Ah as his WIFE was the birth mom. He was not put up for adoption.

        Also, I’m surprised you don’t recognize that sometimes people change and realize that they committed a wrong against another. Or maybe he was paid off to not have anything to do with his son after the divorce.

        The point is we don’t know anything about the facts of why his father didn’t try to keep in contact with his son, and it really seems incorrect to try to speculate and make a definitive statement about something unless there are other facts that corroborate that statement.

        And nobody has come up with those facts.

        Also, I think it’s up to the son to decide whether he wants to meet his dad. I think it’d be rather heavy-handed of Cha Seung Won and his family to deny him that opportunity at this point since CNA IS 25 years old.

        I can understand it at age 8 since it could badly scar a child who doesn’t really understand what’s going on, but as an adult, CNA can afford to hear the truth and make his own decisions about it.

    • Cha No Ah is a 25 year old man – not an underaged child where his legal guardians can control who can or cannot see him. If his birth father wanted to reach out to CNA, he can do it regardless of whether the Cha Seung Won or his wife don’t want him to. It’s absurd to think that the birth father did this as a last resort or that he exhausted his options. The lawsuit was dropped but there is no statement on whether a settlement was reached and/or the birth father was paid off to just away.

      Anyone who would resort to outing his birth son’s real paternity through filing a lawsuit to sue the adopted father who raised him is frankly a larcenous bastard. His lawsuit wasn’t a paternity lawsuit – he was suing for defamation because his pride and male honor (his words) were hurt because the world thought CNA was CSW’s son and he was demanding damages (i.e. money) for the emotional pain and suffering he went through. If he really just wanted to establish paternal ties with CNA then he could just give a press conference to state that he was the birth father. That’s what makes his lawsuit walk, talk, and smell like a shakedown.

      • So, you’re saying that Coffee Prince has no basis whatsoever, as Han Gyul’s biological father wanted to see his son, but the family was refusing to let him even contact him for fear of Han Gyul finding out the truth.

        I guess, I can sort of see a difference between a paternity lawsuit and a defamation lawsuit, but I don’t even know what a paternity lawsuit would entail given that CNA was adopted by CSW and I’m not a lawyer in South Korea.

        I agree that it’s a really rotten way for his son to find out, but I guess I still don’t really see how it comes out to extortion.

        And it’s interesting that the LACK of information about a settlement or statement makes you think that a settlement occurred.

        If I were CSW and I were paying the father off, I’d want to get the biological father to actually issue a statement stating that he was satisfied with the public acknowledgment of CNA’s paternity and therefore was dropping the lawsuit.

        I dunno. This is just a weird thing.

        It could certainly be a shakedown, but it seems like a really weird way of going about it.

      • Like I was saying, don’t the Chas have a case here to counter sue this guy for damages of the emotional distress of such he has caused them from all of this?

      • It’s extortion because the birth father filed a lawsuit asking for damages of $90,000 for his suffering, which is frankly laughable.

        If he filed a lawsuit to establish paternity, i.e. asking for specific performance on the part of the court to let him contact CNA, then I would still think it was overkill to make it a legal matter but wouldn’t find it larcenous on his part.

        I don’t think either way that a financial settlement occurred or didn’t take place for the lawsuit to be dropped. I brought this point up vis-a-vis your initial assertion that the birth father dropped the charges simply because CSW acknowledged CNA was not his birth son.

      • I guess we have different definitions of extortion, then.

        Could it have been money-grubbing? Sure, possibly.

        Could it have been a last resort? That also seems possible to me.

        Maybe the biological father just got bad advice.

        Anyways, I guess we’ll never really know, as if it was a shakedown, it’ll never come to light, and if it was some misguided attempt at contacting his son, it probably also won’t come to light.

      • Requiem are you really basing all your statements on a kdrama? No Ah is 25 years old. There is no one stopping him from establishing ties. Considering the way the lawsuit was handled he clearly made no attempt to do ao. He is suing Cha Seungwon for $100k because he feels he should be acknowledged for the child he had no part in raising or supporting. In fact for CSW to adopt him his birth father would have had to surrendered his rights. Why are you defending this horrid man?

      • @Requeim- I normally don’t reply to a specific q person for this blog. But I have to say this. It sounds like it’s a dissection of facts and you’re splitting hairs. To me no matter what it’s a real family that has their lives exposed. Koreans keep birth records. Not not all adoptive parents tell their child they are adopted. The family’s choice. Also you realize, for NW to have the Cha name he would have to have transferred to CSY’S family records.

      • Uhmmn, yeah, I don’t think this is a situation of exhausting all efforts…This just straight up Assholishness. In 20 some odd years you couldn’t get a legal proceedings or a scandal event such as this to blow up, you didn’t care enough.
        you can’t just adopt your step child without the other parent giving consent, this would involve both removing and adding to family registries (big deal). And a son, the carrier of the family name/line is a big deal. Either way this father didn’t give a shit about the well being of this kid who is now an adult.

        If an agreement was made privately to let the son know his true parentage at adulthood, why wait 6 years afterwards?

        His pride is suddenly hurt? Great douche bag you are Father of the Year. Your son should be so proud to know your blood flows through his veins.

        Baby daddy got mad one day after 20 years of probably being paid off, seeing some article that shows how much better off his child and ex is living without him and asks for more of an allowance that he probably had been given..

        He dropped his suit because there is no case. The Chas readily admitted the paternity and it would be up to sperm donor to prove his damages, such as his so called good name being ruined. And sure, like how do you do that? I’m sure a person like this has a name that may’ve been ruined by other makings of his own nature, not by celebrity baby usurping.
        Sheesh, maybe he’ll start being a father to his new found son by paying for therapy.

      • I enjoy discussing @Requiem’s different point of view and don’t think that having this particular minority opinion is, in and of itself, something wrong. I do think the facts as available don’t lend itself to supporting that opinion but it’s still worth mulling over as a possibility.

      • Just saying but it reminds me of my host family’s situation in Japan that is representative of many Japanese families where the parents divorced and the mother decided that the children will never meet their dad ever again. It happens a lot, usually the families’ pressure are huge. My host family’s step dad said that one of his friend didn’t meet his daughter for more than 20 years. My host family’s sons didn’t meet their fathers from the day the parents decided to divorce. One son doesn’t care, the other has always wished to see his dad again. He is a 35 years old man, who is married and has two children. He would never dare saying to his mother that he meets his dad again ( if he ever meets him – which we don’t know but suppose) because the family pressure is huge. His mother would be angry beyond belief. The dads that I am talking about live in the same city than their children, but can’t see them. This thing is a tradition, usually this generation’s dad who divorce can’t meet their children anymore for societal pressures etc. It also caused a huge problem for international marriages, there were lots of debates about this as the Japanese mothers would follow this tradition and keep the children back to their hometowns and do everything for the dads never to see their children again.

        From what I see of this whole lawsuit, I do thing that Requiem’s opinion is extremely plausible, and taking the drama as an example wasn’t that stupid. I do not think we have enough information to make a judgement in this case, Cha Seung Won is really powerful, ultimately his opinion is the one that will be listened to the most and he knows that. Divorces can be extremely messy especially in societies where the mother’s role and status is amplified to the point she holds the only key/truth about a child’s well being etc.
        I don’t know if this happens a lot in Korea like in Japan, but what I do know is that even if both cultures have lots of differences, they also have lots of familiarities, the family that we talk about in the west doesn’t have the same value there… especially the statue/expectations of mothers…

      • Thank you, annnsow, for your perspective and relating your experience. What you stated fleshes out a lot of what I was trying to say and puts a real life example behind it.

        Look, guys. I’m not saying that I support what this guy did. In fact, I’ve stated before that moves like this make him a terrible father.

        I’m just saying that I can see a possibility for why this guy went this route without it being extortion or monetary blackmail.

        If I were in his shoes, I would like to believe that I wouldn’t do what he did. But who knows?

        People DO change, and maybe he realizes that staying out of his son’s life was a big mistake, and he’s trying to rectify that (albeit in a really crappy way).

        It could also certainly be a possibility that he’s just trying to cause problems and/or get money.

        I just don’t think there’s enough evidence here to say something definitively.

        On that note, I think it’s fine to say that I was overstating my position in my original post. I probably didn’t phrase the original post the best way I could have.

      • I’ve read and seen about divorce in Japan but I think things are changing now. Altho for international marriages it can be tough. The fact that he may have been denied his father is possible. I don’t know how similar family laws are in south korea but it’s unfortunate. I still think what the father did here is despicable because the one who’s pride (among other things) got most hurt is the son. So even at worst if he was really denied for the sake of his son he shouldn’t have gone public.

    • Your though process is so screwed up. Stop thinking of the bastard as some noble kdrama hero who wants to see his son and the Cha family as the evil people keeping him away.

      • Except in Coffee Prince, the father wasn’t a hero and the family weren’t evil people keeping him away.

        If that IS your interpretation of Coffee Prince, it’s certainly a very interesting take on it.

        Thinking about it, there’s also a similarity in Ojakgyo Brothers where the family prevents their adopted son from meeting his mother, though he knows he was adopted.

        In that one, the family is still not considered evil, just normal people making mistakes in trying to look out for the best interests of those they love.

        I do think it’s interesting that this motif is in at least 2 series and popular ones at that. It does make me wonder if it is not uncommon in Korean society, as neither of these dramas are considered makjang….

    • I am an attorney, and I deal with parental rights cases quiet frequently. From my experience, this reeks of a selfish parent who is trying to get money and who has no interest in his kid.

      I’m not in Korea, but I do know that this was not his only option for establishing contact with his son. As his son is an adult, CSW and his wife couldn’t stop the birth father from contacting the son. And if contacting his son was his goal, this is not the kind of lawsuit he would have filed. Absolutely 100% not the lawsuit he would have filed. You simply don’t get that kind of remedy in a defamation case. This was absolutely about money.

      And if all he wanted was an acknowledgment that he was the biological father, then again, this is not the kind of lawsuit you file for that. This was a shakedown. You said below that if the secret were out, he wouldn’t have any leverage, but that’s not really true–famous people often settle lawsuits very quickly to get it out of the news. Threatening to sue can be taken as just a bluff. Once you’ve filed the lawsuit, they know you intend to make trouble. It’s sadly not uncommon.

      Furthermore, even if he didn’t want to get a settlement (and based on my experience, I would believe that’s why he sued), the next most likely scenario isn’t that he wanted to see his kid, it’s that he filed the suit out of spite and anger. I’ve seen plenty of those kinds of cases. There’s a reason why attorneys who handle divorce cases in the US are more likely to get threats than criminal defense attorneys.

      It’s kind of you to want to give the biological father the benefit of the doubt, and it’s true we don’t have all the facts. But a defamation lawsuit is not the legal process for either establishing paternity or getting access to your child, even if your child weren’t an adult whose parents can’t stop you from meeting him. It’s just not. Nothing about the circumstances of the case would lead anyone in the legal profession to see this as an attempt to establish contact with the child. This is not someone who has his kid’s best interest at heart, whatever the reason for his suit.

      • Forgot to add, @annsow, I think you weren’t given all of the information about divorce. Japan doesn’t have joint custody after divorce(or at least it didn’t, if that has changed, it’s recent). So either the parents decide which parent the kids will live with exclusively, or a mediator or court will decide that. So you have both mothers and fathers who have no right to custody of their kids after divorce. And frankly, in any country, divorce can be so acrimonious that some parents will punish their ex-spouse by keeping their kids away, and both genders do this. I feel bad for the father in your host family, but that is a function of Japanese law.

        I added this comment just because someone reading your comment might imagine that Japan has all these awful divorced mothers who intentionally keep their kids away from the poor fathers who would otherwise make every effort to see their kids. In this area, Japanese law isn’t really looking out for the best interests of the children of divorce.

      • Yeap…the closest example, is my mother’s younger sister (my aunt)
        They adopted a baby girl, from her husband’s younger brother, who was having twin girls. Strangely, now after they grow up, 20-ish, they look different. But they live in different cities, so these twins always thought that they were cousins.
        Until one day, her birth-mother opened up “the can”, by telling her through the phone. It was quite a shock for her. My sister and I, who were living at their house that time, tried to help her to get through the shock, denial and the hurt.
        Thankfully, she is OK now, go to college, etc, and still living happily with her adopted-parents. Even my mother felt angry to her birth-mother for telling her the truth, without approval from the adopted-parents.

      • yeah, they happen everywhere. my granny’s ‘brother’ is actually her nephew. since my grand aunt didn’t want to raise her child, her parents adopted him. there’s only small amount of people that know who his real parents are. I myself found out that when I was about 20.

  4. Done with the best intentions, I support you, CSW!! As I have a negative view on how adoption and adopted children are treated in dramas, I applaud CSW as him and his wife did what they thought was best. I want to reach over the waters and slap Cha No Ah’s birth father in the face!! As he didn’t have any rights to the child, what nerve he had to do this! Again, I’m dismayed as he even tried to use this method that effectively hurt his birth son. Selfish *&%*#!!

    • Exactly korean society treats adoption so harshly I get why they would kept it a secret.
      Anyone can see the bio dad was trying to scam money from them.
      Its just sad that the whole issue came out like this

      • I think it’s mainly not because society treats adoption harshly.
        Mainly, the adopted-parents think about the child’s welfare first.
        Because in event that they have other children, the adopted-child will not feel left out. That’s what I know from adopted-parents’ perspective. I related to a couple, btw.

  5. In the US once the biological parents have given up their children for adoption, they lose all rights with regards to them. In fact, at a child’s birth certificate the names of the biological parents are completely ommited and replaced with the adoptee’s once the adoption has been completed. In some states there is a complete legal way for the child to seek out his biological parents, if he so desires. This comes out to me as the biological father causing an upheaval in the child’s life not because he seeks recognition, at all. That which is why I’m even surprised that there is a case to be filed in the first place. I’m not familiar with Korea’s adoption laws, but actually, the Chas could sue this guy back for the exact same reasons.

    You know what, I think they should.

  6. After reading about this case, I will no longer shake my head at the illogical twists and turns in KDramas. Over there in Korea-la-la-la-land truth is stranger than fiction!

  7. I feel so bad for Cha Seung Won’s family but especially his wife and son….they don’t deserve to have their private lives dragged in public like this. I hope they recover from what must have been a terrible hurt :/

  8. It’s sad how this played out and I hope his son is able to deal with the news in a healthy way. Also, CSW is certainly an honorable man especially in these days we live in.

  9. Cha Seung Won is a wonderful man seriously. I still remember him apologizing for the terrible scandal his son got into to and taking full responsibility for it. He is his son’s father. I hope his son never questions that. The sperm donor can go rot in hell. What a disgusting person.

  10. I just hope the family doesn’t drift away due to some other person’ s doesn’t always mean blood they’re emotion affection understanding..wish things remain the same for the family esp. Noah
    Good Luck

  11. If I remember correctly the son was born less than 9 months after the wedding while CSW was still a college student. I had always thought it was their shotgun wedding that worked out well. Instead CSW loved his wife enough to marry her while pregnant with another man’s child. Is this true romance or what!!!???!!!! Where was this father then? Where was he when the son was in legal trouble a few years ago? was he helping out? Why appear now? It’s some type of shakedown that we don’t know all the details of. I agree with Ms. Koala, it seems like extortion to me.

    Unfortunately, all around the world, biological parents use their children as weapons. In the US, my brother-in-law was denied visitation of his daughter by his ex-wife fir 15 years, even though he was paying child support. The 1st thing the daughter did when she became an adult was to seek out her Dad. In Switzerland, my ex-boyfriend found out his ex-girlfriend (post me) had manipulated the blood test results 25 years ago to deny that he was the father of her child. He only found out because the guy who was on the hook for child support began to wonder why the teenager looked like neither of them.

    I hope the CSW family grows stronger through this tribulation.

    • Opps! looked like I believed the “official” actor story. I see now, the wedding date was moved to fit with the birth date of the son. Other comments still stand.

  12. Cha Seung Won, I already loved him ever since city hall episode 14’s awesome kissin the car–Yeah I had to be specific. didn’t know Koreans could really kiss until that scene, this was before Lie To Me. *ahem* Back to the point: it hasn’t been easy for him from the start but I love it that he is a fighting man for his family. Liek Koala said, Cha No Ah is 25, but his world was just rocked. Heck, hopefully he leans on his family instead of drawing away.

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