On February 17, a different online user known as “B” wrote a post accusing Jo Byeong Gyu of being a delinquent and a bully during elementary and middle school. Another online user, “C,” claimed to be a classmate of Jo Byeong Gyu and denied the allegations that Jo Byeong Gyu was a school bully. In response to “B’s” post, HB Entertainment reiterated their intention to take strong legal action against both the first and second posters of false rumors.
Back on February 16, someone called “A” uploaded a post online claiming to have been bullied by Jo Byeong Gyu while they were at school in New Zealand together. The next day, Jo Byeong Gyu’s agency requested a police investigation into the post for spreading false rumors, and it was later revealed that the creator of the post had apologized and taken their post down.
On February 19, HB Entertainment released the following statement.
Hello, this is HB Entertainment.
This is our additional official statement on the false rumors and malicious comments that are currently spreading about actor Jo Byeong Gyu.
First, we have checked with the actor and confirmed that all the posts and rumors that are circulating online are false. Earlier, on February 17, the agency announced our intention to pursue legal action against those who spread false rumors and defaming comments about Jo Byeong Gyu.
As the attached document shows, after the agency’s statement was released, the spreader of the false rumor (“A”) promised to reflect on their actions and prevent such a thing from occurring again and requested lenient treatment. However, since we have evidence that those who spread recklessly false information about Jo Byeong Gyu with malicious intent have committed contempt and defamation under the criminal code and the Act on the Promotion of the Use of Information and Communication Networks and the Protection of Information, we requested an official police investigation and the Gangnam Police Station’s cyber investigation unit is currently handling the investigation.
We inform all netizens that we will not overlook those who spread and/or post malicious comments and posts on forums, online communities, portal sites, and social media that go beyond expressing one’s own opinion or what is considered socially acceptable.
HB Entertainment will continue to collect evidence and monitor online so that further damage does not occur to our artists. We will take strong legal action without negotiation or lenient treatment so that people can be held responsible for their actions.
[Jo Byeong Gyu], who endured a long period of obscurity and is just now starting to get his moment in the spotlight, is going through a hard time. As the people who are in charge of looking after him, the agency regrets this very much.
However, we intend to overcome this with the trust of fans who continue to send in their love and support for Jo Byeong Gyu without a change of heart. We ask for your warm comfort so that actors will no longer receive harm from these malicious comments and posts.
Also on February 19, another online user (henceforth known as “D”) wrote a post claiming to have been bullied by Jo Byeong Gyu in New Zealand. “D” claimed to have attended the same school as Jo Byeong Gyu in New Zealand. “D” said that he had been strong-armed into going to karaoke with Jo Byeong Gyu and his friends and that he was forced to pay for the whole thing himself. “D” further alleged that Jo Byeong Gyu had hit him hard with the microphone when he refused to sing.
Other allegations made by “D” include Jo Byeong Gyu wrecking his school project, kicking him or hitting him with whatever he happened to have in hand, getting cornered after school assemblies and being threatened and sworn at, and being forced to pay for snacks despite being poor. “D” also claimed that Jo Byeong Gyu had smoked cigarettes and dated around, and shared a photo of Jo Byeong Gyu at a track and field event at the school as evidence that they had attended the same school.
Source: Soompi citing Sports Donga, Naver (1) & (2); See also Soompi 1 & 2
the first one was allegedly a fake, but two others have posted as well. Plus he had a similar allegation in 2018 too. yikes, i really liked his dramas