SEOUL, June 3 (Reuters) - SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won said it was regrettable that the history of the conglomerate's phenomenal growth was distorted in the judgement by a court which ruled he must pay 1.38 trillion won ($1 billion) to his estranged wife.

The Seoul High Court ruled Chey's estranged wife, Roh Soh-yeong, was entitled to the amount - roughly a third of the SK leader's net holdings in the conglomerate - considering her contribution to its growth.

Roh is a daughter of former South Korean President Roh Tae-woo who was in office from 1988 to 1993. The court accepted Roh's argument that her father's help contributed to SK's growth.

"I remain unchanged in my belief that the judiciary's judgment must be respected, but I can't help but express regret over this ruling which denies the history of growth by SK," he said.

SK, which began as a textile company in the 1950s, grew rapidly from the late 1980s as it expanded into the petrochemical and communications sectors. Chey today controls SK Hynix, the world's second-largest memory chip maker, and SK affiliates through his stake in SK Inc. ($1 = 1,376.5900 won) (Reporting by Jack Kim; Editing by Kim Coghill and Stephen Coates)