Korean Air has suspended its CEO's younger daughter while police investigate reports she threw water at an advertising executive in a meeting.
Cho Hyun-min, also known as Emily Cho, denied throwing the cup of water but has admitted to "pushing" it toward the advertising executive, Reuters reported.
The police said they made a decision to launch an official probe after securing testimony that Cho threw water at a manager of an ad agency in a meeting last month.
The airline confirmed Cho had thrown a cup of water on the floor, but not at anyone's face. The story soon spread on the firm's intranet, saying that Cho asked an irrelevant question and threw a fit when the staffer failed to answer and threw one water bottle at the wall and another in the staffer's face.
After the scandal broke in the worldwide press, Cho posted a message on social media on Thursday and said, "I bow my head in apology for my foolish and careless act".
Heather Cho was found guilty of breaking aviation law and jailed for a year over her "nut rage" incident but was freed in May 2015 after an appeal.
Police said the preliminary investigation against Cho has now become a formal criminal case.
The airline's chairman, Cho Yang-ho, has not commented on the incident involving his younger daughter, who has left the country on a vacation, the company said. "I committed a serious mistake by failing to control my emotions".
Thousands of people have in recent days posted comments on a presidential office website where members of the public can lodge petitions, to demand changes at the airline. A petition demanding the word "Korean" be removed from the airline's name has garnered over 50,000 signatures as of Monday, according to BBC News.
"It is a national disgrace that this family keeps making embarrassing troubles while doing business under the "Korea" brand", one petitioner wrote.
The owners of Korean Air have been under intense scrutiny since Ms Cho's sister, who is also known as Heather, famously flew into a rage when macadamia nuts were served to her in a bag and not on a plate on a Seoul-bound flight from NY in December 2014. A Korean Air jet is pictured at O'Hare International Airport on September 19, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois.
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