Nut rage: Flight attendant sues Korean Air and jailed former executive for 'career and emotional damage'

Kim Do-hee alleges Heather Cho acted in a 'humiliating, degrading, and damaging' way

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The Independent Online

The flight attendant at the centre of the Korean Air nut rage row has launched legal action against the airline and former executive Heather Cho, who was jailed over the dispute.

Kim Do-hee alleges that Heather Cho, the daughter of the airline's chairman, verbally and physically attacked her for the way she served nuts on a plane taking off from New York's JFK airport on 5 December.

In a civil lawsuit filed in New York this week, Ms Kim, who is seeking compensation, claims that Ms Cho, who is also known as Cho Hyun-ah, caused damage to her career, reputation and emotional wellbeing.

Ms Kim says the former vice-president overseeing cabin service for Korean Air "screamed obscenities and hit her" after being served the macadamia nuts in a bag, rather than in a bowl.

Read more: 'Nut rage' exposes the many cracks in South Korea's elite
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She then demanded that the aircraft return to the gate so Ms Kim could be taken off the flight.

Last month, Ms Cho was jailed for one year for obstructing aviation safety. She was also found to have ordered the taxiing plane to offload a flight steward. She is appealing against her conviction.

Ms Kim's lawyers said the evidence would demonstrate that Ms Cho's actions were, "not only humiliating, degrading, and damaging to Kim, but were also emblematic of Cho's unbridled arrogance and disturbing sense of entitlement", the BBC reported.

In the lawsuit, Ms Kim also alleges that she was told to lie to authorities about the confrontation and was forced to make public appearances with Ms Cho, in order to help rebuild her public image.