GI marries Korean woman, leaves her debt-ridden to return to wife in America
She thought she had met the man of her dreams: a clean-cut, square-jawed US Army sergeant from New York who donned a traditional South Korean tunic for their flower-bedecked wedding.
Instead, Rachel Lee, 43, of Uijeongbu, near Seoul, has been left with a nullified marriage, $50,000 in credit-card debt and a broken heart — because her “husband,” Army Master Sgt. Scott Fuller, 40, already had a wife and two kids living in Rockland County.
Fuller is now back in that New City home with his original wife, Marianne, and their daughter, 6, and son, 4.
And Lee, a teacher, remains a half a world away, devastated.
“It has been very, very tough for me,” she told The Post Thursday in a phone call from South Korea.
“Quite honestly, I do feel suicidal,” she said through a translator.
“She was head over heels,” said Howard Myerowitz, a lawyer Lee retained through a Fort Lee, NJ, firm specializing in Korean issues.
It was Lee’s second marriage, and, as far as she knew, her husband’s first. But it unraveled within months, when Fuller asked his new bride for help reformatting his cellphone so he could sell it — and she discovered loving “happy anniversary” e-mails he had just sent to Wife No. 1.
Lee called local authorities and filed a complaint for forgery. Fuller was convicted in a Korean trial court and sentenced to eight months in prison on Oct. 31, 2014, her lawyer said. But Army officials quietly reassigned Fuller to Fort Drum in upstate Jefferson County.
They have declined to prosecute Fuller for bigamy or fraud, even though Fuller had kept up his ruse through a trail of allegedly bogus paperwork, her lawyers allege.
That includes a premarital certification on US Embassy letterhead that Fuller presented to South Korean officials, attesting he was single. It also includes a New York state judgment of divorce — claiming he and Marianne had divorced — that Fuller submitted to a Korean court. Copies of both documents were provided to The Post by lawyers in the US.
Myerowitz is seeking restitution of the $50,000 that Lee says Fuller owes her. Officials at Fort Drum did not return messages seeking comment, and Fuller could not be reached by e-mail or at his home.
“She was never officially married to him,” Marianne Fuller railed to a Post reporter.
Myerowitz said: “It’s a horrific story . . . This is something that goes on with our troops all over the world.”