For those of you who are obsessed with muscles, Koreans, and Lindsay Lohan, your day has arrived! Recently the bodybuilding blog Liftn compiled a bunch of Instagram photos (and added one very curiously Photoshopped lead image) of Lindsay Lohan with a very buff Korean man with the headline: “Lindsay Lohan Is Dating a Massive Korean Billionaire Arm Wrestling Bodybuilder.” Naturally, we lost our minds, and since then have tried to determine how much of this headline is actually verifiable. (Turns out, very little!) After some research, all we can confidently say is that a very strong Korean man named Je-yong Ha hangs out a lot with Scary Movie 5 star Lindsay Lohan. They have done things that look suspiciously couple-y, like partying in Mykonos until daybreak and doing face masks, prompting much of the Korean media to speculate whether they were together back in late October. We know you have questions, and we sort of have answers, so let’s get this going.
Wait, so who is he?
Here’s what we can glean. His name is Je-yong Ha, his Instagram handle is “Korean Hulk,” and we know more about his lifting stats than his actual biography. On Facebook, he says he lives in Russia. According to an arm-wrestling video from the Korean Armwrestling Federation posted about a month ago, he’s 29 years old, ranked ninth in the country, and shaped like a teapot. He weighs 110 kg (242.5 pounds), stands 165 cm (five-foot-four), with biceps 56 cm (22 inches) in girth.
So how did he start hanging out with Lindsay Lohan?
From his Instagram, it seems like they met in Mykonos. Lohan’s own account puts her in Greece, starting in late June, where she spent most of the summer. She makes her first appearance on the Korean Hulk’s Instagram on August 11, apparently in Mykonos, the party island. But his Facebook photos tend to be a little more bedroom eyes. Here they are apparently in Dubai:
Then, there are a spate of videos and photos of them driving at night singing Russian songs, clubbing, and dining out, with the last one on October 21. There’s also a curious Instagram story apparently taken after a late night out where they encounter a child beggar on the street. In a long caption, Je-yong describes that he initially wanted to give money to the child, but that Lohan told him not to. When he gave the money he had in his wallet to the girl, Lohan snatched it out of the her hands, ostensibly because by giving money to the kid, they would be supporting a system in which children are used as beggars on the street.
Oh, that’s uncomfortable! Wait, so are they dating?
According to Vanity Fair, a “source close to Lohan” told the writer, “Lol they are 100% not dating at all. They’re just friends.” Korean media were suspicious of the idea that the two were dating back in October, pointing out that while Lohan has made multiple appearances on his Instagram, he never made it onto hers. Also, to be fair and balanced, Je-yong never says that they’re dating.
All right, so tell me more about this Korean He-Man. Is he famous?
Not really. Korea doesn’t really have a reality-TV-industrial complex in the way that the U.S. does, so there isn’t really a way for someone with his set of skills and thirst level to flourish. Instead, he’s relegated to the variety-show circuit appearing on shows such as Star King, where he’s treated like a one-off curiosity, sort of like a strongman on The Gong Show. He’s about on the same level of celebrity as the Tree Man who went viral earlier this May for being tall and hot.
What does he do then?
Well, he competes in his arm-wrestling competitions, and sometimes also powerlifting ones. He won a bench-pressing competition in Korea this October where he lifted 200 kg, easily besting his competitors. (He says his personal best is 260 kg.) Other than that, he shills for a company called Mate M Box, which is basically a private karaoke room set up like a recording studio, where you can sing into a mic with headphones on like you were the next Insooni. He does promotional events at their various locations where a bystander will try to arm wrestle him. If they beat him, they get a little under $1,000. (If they can survive five seconds, they get a box of black-raspberry juice.) You might think that’s a weird brand collaboration, but in Korea anyone can sell anything.
Well, is he rich?
You golddigger! We can’t say that he’s a billionaire, but he’s very much into the conspicuous consumption of the nouveau riche. He eats truffle pizzas, pasta heaping with caviar, poses with Bugattis, and buys Gauguin paintings. The Korean newspaper Dong-a Ilbo reports he may have a shady past under other online personas (“Power Brother” and “Diesel Mania” being two of them) where he attempts to appear more famous and richer than he actually is.
Oh no! So he might just be using Lindsay Lohan’s fame to get famous himself?