Today, my family and I conducted a select set of interviews, with the BBC for the international audience, with the Wall Street Journal for the American audience, and with the Korean media for the local audience here. Here is our statement on the video incident. Thank you. Robert E. Kelly
“My family and I would like to thank our many well-wishers. We are just a regular family, and raising two young children can be a lot of work. Because of that, it seems that the video has resonated with parents around the world, and we are flattered at the many gentle sentiments about our children. Thank you. We love them very much, and we are happy that our family blooper brought some laughter to so many.
We would also like to thank the British Broadcasting Corporation for its gentle and tactful treatment of the video. We are grateful for their professionalism in handling the exposure of our young children. We especially thank James Menendez, the announcer in the clip, for his kindness during the interview itself.
To the media, we would like to apologize for our reticence. We have been deluged with requests since Friday. We were unsure how to respond, and as the attention accelerated, we became genuinely unnerved. We had no idea how to handle this. We therefore decided to return to the BBC for a follow-up interview for the international audience, to speak with the Wall Street Journal for the US domestic audience, and to hold today’s press conference for the Korean audience. We apologize to the many outlets that seem to find this dissatisfactory. We are doing the best we can. Some have asked for interviews in our home. At this point, we are unready for that. We are hoping to return to normality in the next few days. Perhaps next week if there is still interest.
Finally, we would like to clear up a few of the rumors and controversies around the video:
– Yes, the woman in the video is my wife, Jung-A Kim/김정아, not my nanny.
– The first child to enter is our daughter, Marion Yena Kelly/켈리 매리언 예나, age 4.
– The second is our son, James Yousup Kelly/켈리 제임스 유섭, age 9 months.
– No, Jung-A did not use too much force in removing the children from the room. It is quite apparent from the video that she is frantically trying to salvage the professionalism of the interview. The children were not injured. When Marion speaks in the clip, she says, in Korean, ‘why Mom?’ She is responding in surprise, because we normally do not treat our children this way. Marion’s willingness to comfortably traipse into my home office illustrates her usual ease with her parents.
– No, I was not shoving Marion out of the way. I was trying to slide her behind my chair where there are children’s toys and books, in hopes she would play with them for a few moments until the interview ended.
– Yes, I was wearing pants. I choose not to stand, because I was trying to salvage the interview.
– No, this was not staged.
– Yes, the flat surface to my left was in fact a covered-up air-mattress. Our children like to play and jump on it.
– No, the map was not hung there as a prop. It was a gift and genuinely helps me learn world place names in Korean.
– No, we did not fight about the blooper afterward, nor punish our children. Rather, we were mortified. We assumed that no television network would ever call me again to speak.
– No, Jung-A did not hug the floor, because she was being ‘servile.’ She was trying to stay out of the line of sight of the camera in hopes saving the interview.
– Yes, our floors are hardwood, which is why Jung-A slid into the room. The floor is slippery after mopping, and my wife was wearing socks, not shoes, in the house, as is customary in East Asia.
– We have no comment on the many social analyses of the video. We see this simply as a very public family blooper, nothing more.”