Regina Turner is a former Miss Connecticut whose New York surgeon husband Dr. Han Jo Kim accused her of being a high-priced call girl in a contentious divorce.
Dr. Kim, who works for Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, settled his divorce from Turner on Monday, July 26, 2021, before more salacious details might have emerged in a hearing, according to The New York Daily News, which first broke the story of Kim’s allegations.
Before the accusations, Turner, 32, was in the headlines mostly as a beauty queen who spoke about being a dentist and helping impoverished countries. The caption on a video showing her crowning as Miss Connecticut reads, “Regina Turner is the 5’7″ brown-eyed, daughter of Joyce and Jeff Turner. Her career ambition is to become a dentist. She wants to be able to educate young children as well as travel to third world countries to help those in need. Her hobbies include; working out, keeping up with the latest fashion magazines and reading. Regina describes herself as sweet, ambitious and caring.” She went by the name Regina Kim on Facebook.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Turner’s Husband Claims She Hid Her Escort Activities From Him Before & After Their Marriage
According to the Daily News exclusive, Kim “stumbled upon her secret life as a high-end hooker,” claiming Turner earned nearly $700,000 in cash working as an escort both before and after they were married in 2015.
He was seeking an annulment of the marriage.
“Not to belabor the obvious but … defendant clearly committed material fraud upon Dr. Kim by concealing her sale of sexual services in exchange for money prior to the the marriage,” Kim alleged in court papers obtained by the Daily News. “As is further obvious, plaintiff would have never married defendant absent her lies and concealment.”
Kim alleged that he discovered her double life in 2020. The Daily News reports that Kim found a “raunchy iMessage” from a man to Turner. He allegedly discovered that her clients included a “prominent businessman, a New Jersey-based real estate executive and an award-winning lighting designer,” according to Daily News, which said Turner declined to comment on the allegations.
She hid her travels by saying she was going to China to develop an app, Daily News says Kim alleged.
2. Turner, Who Was Named Miss Connecticut 2011, Said the Pageant Wasn’t ‘About Evening Gowns & Tiaras’
In December 2010, Miss Connecticut USA announced on its Facebook page, “Regina Turner crowned Miss Connecticut USA 2011.”
You can see a series of photos of Turner as Miss Connecticut here.
The Middletown Press reported in 2011 that Turner was a native of a native of Old Saybrook who attended Portland High School. As Miss Connecticut, she competed for the Miss USA title.
“Contrary to the beliefs of some, being Miss Connecticut isn’t about evening gowns and tiaras,” Turner said to that publication. “Rather, the goal of the Miss Connecticut USA pageant is to offer a venue where young women can grow personally in poise, confidence, goal-setting, public speaking and communication skills, physical fitness, and self-discipline. The pageant is meant to provide a positive alternative to the many destructive activities that lure our young people today and also to promote community service programs and local charities.”
In 2011, she went to Haiti to help Haitians with dental needs as a volunteer, according to Patch.
3. Dr. Kim Is a Spine Surgeon at a Top New York Hospital
Dr. Han Jo Kim is listed as a Spine Surgeon at HSS, Hospital for Special Surgery, “specializing in cervical spine and scoliosis surgery.”
His biography on the hospital website says that, after his residency at HSS, he “completed a spine fellowship in adult and pediatric spinal deformity and scoliosis surgery followed by a subspecialized fellowship in cervical spine surgery at Barnes-Jewish Hospital at Washington University in St. Louis.”
The website continued, “He has also visited and operated with leading spine surgeons in the US and around the world. Currently serving as the Director of the Spine Fellowship, he is also the lead investigator for numerous research studies and has won multiple awards in the national and international arena. He is also actively involved in the education of residents, fellows and physician assistants.”.
Dr. Kim is also a volunteer surgeon in Ghana, West Africa, where he has “surgically treated some of the most rare and complex spinal deformities in pediatric and adult patients. The severity of scoliosis he has seen and treated are so rare that the average spine surgeon may only see one to two cases a year. Over the course of his career, he has successfully operated on hundreds of rare and complex spinal deformities,” the bio says.
4. The Couple Lived a Lavish Lifestyle
It wasn’t that Turner was wanting for money. According to Daily News, the doctor and the beauty queen lived a lavish lifestyle.
In 2018, he was already earning more than $3 million as a surgeon and they lived in a New York apartment worth $6.5 million, reported Daily Mail, which added that they also had a multi-million dollar Long Island home.
On Facebook, she showcased her travels to Greece and France and posted photos showing her with her husband. “You two look just perfect together. 💗” a friend wrote on one Facebook picture of the couple.
Turner’s Pinterest page shows high-end home decorating and wardrobe ideas.
5. Turner, Who Once Wanted to be a Dentist, Said Whenever She Decided to Do Something She Goes ‘All In’
In the 2011 Middletown Press article about her crowning as Miss Connecticut, Turner was brimming with confidence.
“Whenever I decide to do something, I go all in,” she said to the newspaper. “I truthfully expect to win. I do it well, and I do it the right way. I put all my heart into it, and I always try my best.”
The newspaper reported that she was a dental major at Tunxis Community College in Farmington.
“I hope this title will help me with school, as well as furthering my hobbies of modeling and acting,” she said then. “Possibly, I can turn those hobbies into a second career.”