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SM Entertainment founder Lee Soo Man, 69, has made headlines for reportedly giving his 52-year-old journalist girlfriend a 5bil won (approximately S$6mil) apartment.

Located in the upmarket Cheongdam district, the 2,114 sq ft unit is believed to have been gifted to the reporter in March.

Soo Man's girlfriend has been identified by the media as a Korean who is working in the Seoul branch of a North American broadcast company.

Netizens initially wondered if Soo Man’s lavish gift was illegal as South Korea's Improper Solicitation and Graft Act states that public officials, including journalists, are not allowed to accept gifts even if they are not accompanied by “payments, offers, or promises to pay or provide money or a thing of value”.

However, as his girlfriend is working for a foreign media company, there have been no violations of this law.

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