This is the most Korean / Korean-American story you will ever read:
“In breathless coverage in the Korean media, the student was hailed as the ‘Genius Girl,’ who made her parents immensely proud by gaining acceptance and scholarships at two of the best schools in the country. According to Korean reports, she had Harvard and Stanford professors fighting for her to enroll. Several news outlets reported that Zuckerberg called her to persuade her to choose Harvard, which he attended for two years. A spokesman for Zuckerberg declined to comment.
The student and her family granted interviews, which appeared in overseas coverage and in Korean American news. The Washington Post is not identifying the student, because she is a minor who has not been accused of a crime. Attempts to reach the student’s family were unsuccessful, and her father did not respond to an e-mailed request for comment.
The student ‘answered the phone one day, and it was Zuckerberg, so she was surprised,’ her mother told the Korean publication Newsis. ‘He said he was in Panama and that he had called her because it was easier to talk by phone than by e-mail.’”
The local South Korea media ate it all up with not even the slightest effort at fact-checking claims that could be confirmed with relatively quick phone-calls.
And now apparently it’s all over:
“The ruse unraveled when Sara’s father wrote an apology to Korean news publications.
‘I am sincerely sorry for causing trouble with what is not true,’ he wrote, according to Yonhap, the South Korean news agency. ‘I am deeply repentant that I failed to watch properly over how painful and difficult a situation the child has been in so far and that I even aggravated and enlarged her suffering. . . . From now on, the whole family will live a quiet life, devoting ourselves to getting the child cured well and taking good care of her. Please forgive me for being unable to offer detailed explanations as the situation has not been completely figured out yet.’”
So at the ripe age of 18 her life is basically ruined. What I want to know is how much of the ruse was her idea, and how much was her father or mother’s.
Honestly, what was the end-game here? Did she or her parents really think she could bluff her way into two of the best colleges in America? I can understand that an over-worked young student would, out of jealousy, make some kind of crazy claim in the first place. But then, faking e-mails from Harvard and Stanford? Going on South Korean shows for laudatory interviews? Claiming to be buds with Mark Zuckerberg?
Sad but morbidly fascinating.