Seoul (South Korea) (AFP) – South Korean police launched an inquiry into the sister of Korean Air’s infamous “nut rage” heiress Friday over claims that she hurled water into a man’s face during a business meeting.
Cho Hyun-min apologised for her “reckless behaviour” after the latest incident to draw widespread condemnation and highlight the prominent family’s hot-tempered behaviour.
Cho, 36, is the younger sister of Cho Hyun-ah, who made global headlines in 2014 when she angrily kicked a cabin crew member off a plane after being served macadamia nuts in a bag rather than a bowl.
The latest row over the younger Cho emerged when local media reported that she had thrown water at an advertising agency manager’s face during a meeting last month.
Cho, a Korean Air marketing executive, reportedly flew into a rage when she did not like one of the manager’s responses.
The ad firm produces adverts for the South’s flag carrier.
Seoul police said they had launched a preliminary investigation to see if Cho had broken any laws.
Throwing water into someone’s face can amount to assault in the South, where a housewife was fined about $650 in 2015 for throwing water at a real estate broker during a heated argument.
Cho Hyun-min and Cho Hyun-ah are the daughters of Korean Air chairman Cho Yang-ho.
The offspring of South Korea’s wealthy business elite families often make headlines for behaviour considered arrogant or shameful.
In the 2014 incident, Cho’s older sister forced two airline employees to kneel and beg for forgiveness on a Seoul-bound flight from New York, after being served nuts in a bag before take-off.
She apologised but was eventually sentenced to a year in prison over violation of transport laws.
The Cho sisters’ younger brother, Cho Won-tae, also made headlines in 2005 after assaulting a 77-year-old lady on the street after she scolded him over reckless driving.
Dozens of online petitions on Seoul’s presidential website condemned the Cho family and called for Korean Air to be stripped of its flag-carrier status.
“It is a national disgrace that this family keeps making embarrassing troubles while doing business under the ‘Korea’ brand,” one petitioner wrote.
Korean Air has partially disputed media reports of the latest incident, saying Cho “only threw a cup with water onto the floor”.