Was Pinkberry Co-Founder's Rage Fueled by Cocaine?

By Luke Walker 01/19/12

Fro-yo entrepreneur Lee Young allegedly beat up a homeless man and has a history of druggy violence.

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Young Lee, co-founder of Pinkberry frozen yogurt, has a bad temper, as well as a drug problem. He's charged with assault for allegedly beating a homeless man with a tire iron last June: he was driving in East Hollywood when he noticed a homeless man, Donald Bolding, soliciting drivers for cash. Bolding removed his sweatshirt, revealing an explicit chest tattoo of a man and woman having sex. Lee was apparently so enraged by this that when Bolding approached his SUV, he rolled down his window and began a heated exchange. He then allegedly jumped out of his Range Rover, demanded that Bolding kneel and beg his forgiveness and beat him with a tire iron. Lee was arrested in LAX airport last week after returning from a trip to South Korea. He denies the assault allegations, claiming he felt threatened and acted in self defense. Back in 2001, Lee was charged with felony cocaine possession and two misdemeanor counts of battery, brought by his ex-partner. He went to rehab and reportedly stayed clean for years before relapsing in 2009—when a “close friend” brought a restraining order against him, due to his “extremely violent temper,” his cocaine use, his gun collection and the small matter of a knife attack, court records show. His ex-wife—Pinkberry co-founder Shelly Hwang—once hired an interventionist to help him, without success. The interventionist later claimed Lee later showed up at his home unannounced and threatened him in Korean.

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