April 24 (UPI) -- An exchange of messages between a key witness in the suicide case of South Korean actress Jang Ja-yeon and local prosecutors is casting a shadow on the veracity of her testimony, according to a local press report.
Yoon Ji-oh, an actress and friend of Jang's, said she has "no recollection" of the exact date or location where she saw Jang being sexually molested by Kim Jong-seung, the chief executive of the entertainment agency that represented both women, Segye Ilbo reported Wednesday.
The text message communication that took place in October, between a member of the investigation team and Yoon, shows the team member asking for the exact date of the molestation and when Yoon saw the face of another suspect, according to the report.
Yoon was cooperating with authorities, but also said she cannot remember the exact date or location. She also said she could not just "fabricate" a date in her messages.
Jang died by suicide in 2009, when she was an emerging actress struggling to get ahead in the tough and competitive industry.
In what media at the time reported was a seven-page suicide note, Jang named powerful and influential men who sexually assaulted her as she sought to advance her career.
Yoon has testified more than a dozen times on behalf of Jang, and recently published a memoir about her experiences.
But the book's co-author, Kim Soo-min, is adding to the controversy over Yoon's testimony.
The Korea Herald reported Wednesday Kim filed a complaint this week, claiming Yoon was "using" Jang's death, possibly for publicity. Kim has said Yoon's statements to the press, and what she told the co-author in private, are not consistent.
Yoon has said "murder" cannot be ruled out in Jang's case, and that the young actress' body was tampered with and destroyed.
She has said she had seen Jang trapped by her abusers at parties and social gatherings during episodes of sexual molestation.
South Korean prosecutors reopened the case in late 2018.