Telling reporters Monday that she "deserves death," the woman at the center of a scandal roiling South Korea met prosecutors examining whether she used her close ties to President Park Geun-hye to pull government strings from the shadows and amass an illicit fortune, the AP reports. "Please, forgive me," Choi Soon-sil, a cult leader's daughter with a decades-long connection to Park, said through tears inside the Seoul prosecutor's building, according to the Yonhap News Agency. Using a common expression of deep repentance, she added, "I committed a sin that deserves death."
Choi was nearly knocked off her feet several times as she tried to walk through a massive crowd of 300 journalists, as well as protesters and security, surrounding the building's entrance. YTN TV station said that Choi, 60, lost her shoe as the throng converged on her, and a protester reportedly tried to enter the building with a bucket full of animal feces. The scandal exploded last week when, after weeks of speculation, Park acknowledged that Choi had edited some of her speeches and provided public relations help. Widespread media reports say that Choi, who has no official ties to the administration, may have had a major role in government affairs.