A court has punished reporters who spread a false rumor about Korean actress Lee Si-young's alleged sex tape.
A reporter from an unidentified magazine, 35, who released the rumor on social media, was sentenced by Seoul Central District Court on Thursday to a year in prison for defamation, suspended for two years, and 200 hours of community service, according to online news outlet Newsis.
The rumor surfaced in June 2015. It said: "Lee had been forced by her agency to make a sex video, and that she tried to commit suicide when the video was investigated by prosecutors."
Prosecutors found that a newspaper reporter, then 29, had falsely informed the magazine reporter about the tape while they dined in June 2015. The college alumni meeting was also joined by lawmakers' secretaries
The next day, the magazine reporter wrote a story about the rumor and released it through social media.
The newspaper reporter, who no longer works as a journalist, was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for a year, and 200 hours of community service.
Lee filed a lawsuit to track down the releaser after the rumor was proven false. It was followed by the prosecutors' investigation in October 2015.
Four others who took part in spreading the rumor, including a reporter and one of the secretaries, were fined 3 million won ($2,600).