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(TW: Self-harm, bullying) Former AOA member Mina accuses leader Jimin of bullying her for a decade



Kwon Min-ah, better known as Mina, a former member of the girl group AOA, alleged on her Instagram Friday that she had been the victim of bullying by Jimin, the leader of the group, for a decade.


In the initial post, Kwon wrote “I really do want to disappear [from the entertainment industry], but I have to look after my mom,” Kwon wrote. “I guess now there’s going to be a lot of messages calling me empty-headed. Yes, I am. I didn’t have the chance to become educated because I had to start earning money from a young age for my family.”

TW: ATTEMPTED SUICIDE, BULLYING

She also alleged that she tried to take her own life due to the bullying.

“Because we were in the same car, she just [forced] me to take mood stabilizers and sleeping pills, and I fell asleep. I could feel that I was breaking down bit by bit even though I had a busy schedule. I even attempted suicide because of her.”

Shin Ji-min, better known as Jimin, wrote the word "novel" on her Instagram story in response, which was believed to be a dismissal of Kwon's allegations, but later deleted the post.

It was after this that Kwon revealed Jimin was the person she was referring to.

She then posted a picture of her wrist with multiple, deep scars along with a caption asking Jimin to admit what she did and apologize.

Kwon debuted through AOA in 2012 before dropping out of the group in 2018 and turning to acting.

When asked for a comment about the posts, her agency, Woori Actors Entertainment, told local media outlet News1 that they are “personal” but said that the agency will keep an eye on her.


“She is on medication due to her panic disorder, and we are closely watching her,” an insider told the press.

BY LEE JAE-LIM [lee.jaelim@joongang.co.kr]


TRIGGER WARNING: SELF-HARM, BULLYING

First post:

I just really really want to disappear (t/n: probably the mildest way to put it) but I have to take care of my mother.. ah I’m going to get a lot of texts saying I’m brainless again you’re right I’m brainless and I didn’t learn anything correctly. I had to go out and make money because of my family’s situation. After my father passed away I cried once in the waiting room and this one unnie told me that the vibe of the room was depressing because of me and she told me to stop crying. I told her I was so scared because she started dragging me towards a closet in the waiting room.

When I think back to when my father didn’t have long to live, I still can’t believe her words, it’s like harassment? Or like an insult? But it’s okay it’s just a scar but since we ride in the same car I started taking sleeping pills and forced myself to sleep. I had to do our schedules/promotions properly but I could feel myself slowly breaking down.

Also, I’m fine if I don’t get acknowledged as an idol or actor. I’m really bad at those things. I’m lacking a lot. But when I was actively promoting, I was so happy and I did my best. I really loved my job and I never got stress once and I honestly didn’t want to leave AOA but after being bullied by a certain someone for ten years, to the point where I really wanted to go crazy and insult you.. I eventually quit AOA.

I was someone who really enjoyed promoting with the other members, but recently that unnie’s father passed away. I was so sad and it felt so weird since I understand how it feels.. When I went to the funeral hall, she started crying right when she saw me and she started apologizing to me. It felt so empty and my mind just crumbled down.. Everything is empty and my resentment went away and everything was fine but I was already too broken

Since I was scared, my hiatus… of course I expected it. I thought I could learn a lot of other things and get treated for depression or panic attacks. But even during my hiatus a lot of things happened.. I’m honestly so exhausted. Those Netizens, right? Just like those internet comments, I myself don’t know who I am and I don’t know what kind of person I am. I hate seeing it and it’s so loud. Even if you don’t want to hear it, I wasn’t born because I wanted to be born, but I have a mouth and I have hands and now I can’t even control myself. I have to stay alive for my mother.. You don’t have like me or give me attention so can’t you just like… leave me alone? Because it’s all my fault.




Second post:

Oh but I wrote about that unnie in AOA because when my father was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer I knew he was going to pass away but I was scared I was going to get yelled at by the unnie again, and also that was when I was acting and when we had our comeback, so I had to get through our schedule and I didn’t want to put any burden on my members and I memorized my lines and there were a lot of moments when I had to smile so I forced myself not to think about my father and instead of focus on my work, and I just couldn’t go into the hospital room to see my father.

In the late stages of pancreatic cancer my father looked gaunt and he was all bones so I couldn’t hold back my tears. My sister called me to tell me that my father couldn’t even speak and that he was looking for me, but I was worried about how I might cry during a schedule and worried about what that unnie would say to me. At the time, I was young, so I thought that was the only way and I thought what I was doing was right. I was more afraid of getting yelled at so even though I had more chances to see him I didn’t and I saw my father leave when he closed his eyes and the lines went flat. My father wrote “where’s my daughter” in messy handwriting on a sketchpad that was next to him and he showed it to the nurse, but at that moment I was still working so I couldn’t go and see him. But from what I heard, unnie got special treatment and just canceled her own schedules but I hope that’s not true.
Be like a professional, unnie. Don’t cry, okay? It will ruin the mood. You told me that I was bringing the mood down and that I was the reason people were so on edge and cautious. Overcome it well, unnie, please. I still can’t erase that memory from my head, and even if the memory is a bit fuzzy, I still remember everything that happened. Every time I remember it, I take my medications and endure it. I think the thing that happened while my father was in the hospital will stay with me forever. To unnie that must’ve just been an insult you spat out with no afterthought, but I think that left a big scar on me.

But when we had 5 more minutes together before I left, I told you that what you said really pained me. But unnie glared at me and said, “I don’t think I’m the type of bitch to say something like that?” Then another member stepped up bravely and said that unnie actually did say those things to me. I felt so dejected and deep inside I was wondering if you were actually human? But then we said goodbye to each other. I'm honestly not that smart so my memory isn’t the best, but unnie’s actions were endless. There were so many memories. (This sentence to "but that's okay right?" didn't really make sense but I tried to translate to the best of my ability)

But I’ll just say this one thing. What are you going to do when you cancel your contract and they ask for a cancellation fee. I didn’t get to say everything yet that’s okay right? Thanks to you, I take numerous pills every day and my left wrist burns because I cut it so many times. But seeing my mother, I have to keep living and earning money. So that’s why I’m getting treatment for my scars even though I still have nightmares, but you know what’s funny, before I left, we all went out for drinks without you and talked every day but we all still don’t know. Why do you hate me?




Third post:

I talked about 1 story out of 1000000000000s. Just try and call it fiction, unnie, you’re going to get punished for it. So don’t do it, I have proof. I’m sorry to say, but there’s no need to listen to both sides. I did nothing wrong. That last day, I went to go treat my hairline and the effects of my anesthesia didn’t wear off so I was going to be late to our dance practice so I called in advance but the moment I heard your voice I thought you were going to flip out so I couldn’t even go to our dance practice room. Also, I attempted to take my life that day. That’s my biggest fault.

Now I told you what I did wrong, so should I reveal your story or not? There’s so much that I can’t write it. You wouldn't call my story fiction if unnie had a conscience… Why’d you delete it, unnie? Just call it fiction. There will probably be a lot of people who'd be shocked if you called it that. Ah but now that I think about it, you don’t really remember and you’re not the type of bitch to say something like that. That’s what you would say, right? Wow, you must be so lucky to forget memories so well. I heard that people who insult others don’t remember doing it. Please erase that memory from my head too, unnie, please please. Actually, you probably wouldn’t even feel any guilt after looking at my wrists. You must want to curse in front of my face, probably.




Fourth post (TW: self-harm, she shared a picture of her wrist):

To call it a fiction story? It’s a very scary fiction story then. Unnie, after getting treated for my scars 3-4 times it looks like they’re going away but the memories I have of unnie will never go away. Every single day I feel like I might go crazy Jimin unnie. A law? A lawsuit? I don’t have any money so I can’t do that. Compensation for psychological injury? I don’t need any of that and I never intended on doing any of that. I’m just broken because of unnie and I’m so so sad and I’m hurt. What I want is for you to acknowledge your wrongdoings in front of me and to honestly apologize to me. Then I think I’ll be fine. The unnie that harassed me is doing so well right now.. Opening my eyes every day is painful but you know, I have to feed my family, right? So just admit it and apologize to me. Let me get rid of these unpleasant feelings too, okay?



I know I'm repeating it again but TRIGGER WARNING: SELF-HARM, BULLYING, BODY IMAGE

Fifth post

ou must be finding it difficult to just come and apologize to me. Every time we got a new manager, you’d say that I was scary and just pretending to be stupid. Why did you say I was scary and pretending to be stupid? You’d say I was acting stuck up just because I went to auditions and when I worked hard to diet so my face would look nicer, you’d say, “Mina, what’s wrong with your body? I hate seeing it. Gain some weight.” When we were trainees, you’d hit me and say it was because I was at the front. We’d have to say, “Did you have a good night’s rest?” “Yes, I’m sorry,” and “Thank you” in a formal tone to you. Everything had to go your way, you could bring anyone you wanted to the dorms. It was so noisy that I went to the practice room to sleep. You’d say things like, “Hey, hasn’t so-and-so changed these days?” and go around targeting different members. Oh right, remember when I didn’t greet you first at the hair and makeup shop and I got an earful, or don’t you? That’s only the light stuff. There are so many things that were so much worse over 10 years. But thanks to you, I have nothing to lose and I’m not afraid of anything? Because my source of fear was you, your existence caused me stress. You couldn’t have seen that from my previous posts till now, right? It just became a part of my life and now, I’ve forgotten it all and all I’m left with is mental illness. Along with some harsh words. Every time I wrote a will, I would include your name. I thought maybe when you read it one day, you’d feel guilty. I’d have stress-induced convulsions and collapse, I’d attempt to commit suicide and collapse, my mom would cry, and my sister is battling cancer, but they’d have to keep going to the emergency room because of me. I’ve never talked back to you, and have I ever done anything wrong from when we were trainees to when we debuted and promoted? If I did, tell me. Did you not like me because I wasn’t good at flattery? But I still did my best. Whether I was told off or not, I would smile and keep approaching you, putting aside my pride. I was amazed to hear that you were taking prescribed medication for your mental health and were having a hard time. You said everything you wanted to say and did almost everything you wanted to do, you were so selfish. I was so envious of you. Of course, everyone has struggles but at least you were able to freely express that? I always had to push it down. I’m not in the right state of mind right now. But the person who made me like this is you. The person who made my family suffer is you. I used to be strong mentally. When I was a trainee, I’d say it was because you’re the leader and told myself to pity you. But it’s still the same after all these years. I couldn’t tell anyone that I was suffering because of you. Things finally exploded when it came time to renew contracts and that’s when my family found out. Did my family ever say something to you? Even when their daughter was attempted to commit suicide because of someone, they never got angry. You were able to cry when you wanted to and you received so much comfort. I was worried you’d tell me off again so for 10 years.. How did I spend that time? By the end, I had almost 200 sleeping pills because of you. I collapsed and I have no memory of that. I wrote your name on an A4 piece of paper and told my mom that I was sorry, and that’s how I still live every day. I’m broken as much as I can be broken. Because of me, my mom is also suffering from depression, did you know? You are the one person who makes me not want to live, I’m serious, you’re the only reason. Even if you came and sincerely apologized to me, I’m already broken so I collapse, I suddenly start crying, I take out a knife, I write ‘Shin Ji Min’ down on a piece of paper. I’m so broken and I’m so full of anger that my heart aches and I feel like I’m going crazy. I’m sorry to my mom, dad, and sister. Can’t you at least tell me why you hate me? With everything you did to me, you can’t say that you didn’t hate me. I’m so upset. I feel upset whenever I open my eyes. I feel like I’m going crazy. It’s so difficult. When you were sitting in the front passenger seat and turn back to us, my heart would start racing because I thought you’d say something to me. I want an apology from you. What will that do? I don’t know. But I feel like I need to something because I’m so angry. There’s no reason for why you tormented me, is there? Shin Ji Min, huh? I wish you could feel what I feel for just one day, I wish I could go back in time and change one day with you. You’ve had a comfortable life. Say something. Let’s hear it. What did you hate about me that much? Huh? I really hate you too. If it wasn’t for you, what would I be like now? At least I probably wouldn’t be crying every day, having nightmares every day, and trying to attempt suicide, right? Because I did nothing to do, I honestly want to go around talking about you and telling people that I have a mental illness because of you. That’s why I’m like this now, sad, isn’t it? It’s finally boiling over after being pent up. I can’t hold it in anymore, I can’t hide it anymore.



Sixth post

I heard you took medication and fell asleep, must be nice. I’m dunking my head in my sink and trying to not cry. I can eat more than ten sleeping pills and not fall asleep, amazing, isn’t it? I’ll stay up for days so I can sleep. Even if I slit my wrists and the floor of our house is covered in blood, I zone out. I blankly think about when I’m going to die, and some people have come running to save me, right? Why does there have to be so many people who are suffering because of me? Are you sleeping well? As soon as I heard that, I got angry again, teared up, and filled with rage. I’m strange, so strange. Try living a life where you have to dunk your head in the sink all the time. It sucks. You are such a bad person. You have to know that. I want to sleep too. I want to get a proper night’s sleep too. Why does everyone around me have to suffer because of you? Why did you make me such a bad person? I want to stop worrying people. But I’m so angry, I’m so upset, I feel like I’m going crazy. Stop sleeping and apologize. Wake up, let me stop feeling broken anymore. Wow, I’m so angry.


Seventh post

My dream probably won’t come true, right? But if you’re a human being, you shouldn’t act like that. And FNC Entertainment, I told them everything at the end. I was half out of my mind, I couldn’t even open my eyes properly, and I stuttered. I hadn’t fully recovered from taking hundreds of sleeping pills but I told them it was because of Jimin and they wouldn’t listen to me. Who should I talk to? I shouldn’t get angry? I’m like this every day. I’ve been living like this every day and you just didn’t know because I didn’t talk about it. From when I was 21 years old [Korean age reckoning], I’ve been hiding my medicine bottles and secretly taking medication so I could hold on. I’ve lived like this. Shin Ji Min, because of you. Because of that person who is sleeping so well right now.

Eighth post
To all those who are suffering because of someone.. Fight. Don’t hold it in. Or grab someone and tell them. Sleeping pills? Don’t take them. It will never end. Don’t live like me. Don’t hold it in. Do everything you want to do and express yourself. Please live like that.



Sources: Korea JoongAng Daily, @JoongAngDaily on Twitter, @kvwowv 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, trans by PicklesandHam @ reddit, Soompi

If you or a person you know are having suicidal thoughts and need help, don't hesitate and call one of the numbers on this list.

Many thanks to goshipgurl for the code of the translations
Tags: aoa, ex-group members, health, social media/youtube, trigger warning
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