OP Notes: This is my attempt to summarize the wave of accusations of school violence against various actors and singers/idols that have been surfacing over the past few days. Fwiw, I'm only including offical news sources in part due to omona's rules but also because there's a lot of stuff floating around out there and I'm not sure how much of it should be further discussed until necessary so I'm just going to rely on official news. Also due to the sheer amount of information, I'm going to keep things summarized a bit more briefly here, and obviously people can expand upon things in more detail in the comments.
TW: A LOT of descriptions of bullying/violence
A post about the accusations against actor Jo Byung-gyu can be found here. In short, multiple accusations have been made about Jo bullying, verbally abusing and occasionally hitting his classmates in Korea and during his stint studying in New Zealand. A first accusation was made in 2018, followed by three more in 2021.
Jo and his agency HB Entertainment have continuously denied all of the accusations and threatened legal action against accusers. The first recent accusation has since been recantd and the original posting of one of the others has been deleted. Netizens are nonetheless expressing skepticism about the credibility of these developments. Jo recently posted a personal statement in his defense, denying all accusations of violence or bullying and expressing his anger and "disgust" at being "the target of volatile and unreliable anonymous accusations." His agency has stated they are continuing to investigate and prepare legal proceedings.
Soojin of (G)I-DLE
Posts about the accusations against Soojin and the responses can be found here and here. In short, on Feb 20th, a netizen posted to the internet claiming that Soojin had systematically tormented and bullied other students, primarily the poster's younger sister, using threats, intimidation, physical violence, cyberbullying and gang-leading, as well as other generally delinquent behavior. Several other netizens then claimed to further corroborte these statements, though some have since deleted their comments and posts. In addition, actress Seo Shinae, a middle school classmate of Soojin's, has made indirect statements on Instagram that seemingly alluded to the accusations being true. Seo has previously spoken about being bullied in school after rising to fame as a child star on the sitcom Highkick Through the Roof.
Cube Entertainment categorically denied the accusations and threatened legal action. Soojin then further responded by posting a personal statement to the group's fancafe, explaining that she had "rebelled" as a student who "always stood out and bad rumors have always followed." She admitted to having a rocky relationship with the alleged victim but claimed they had been friends overall and denied the bullying and other behaviors she had been accused of. The original accuser has since posted again maintaining her position and extensively refuting and rejecting Soojin's statements and speaking out against the harassment she has been receiving from netizens/fans. She has also claimed that Cube reached out to the alleged victim and suggested representatives from the company meet with her but she refused unless Soojin and the victim could meet in person for a discussion or an apology or else she would hire a lawyer and prepare for legal measures.
On February 21st, actress Park Hye-soo came under suspicion of school violence when a netizen posted an accusation about an unnamed female actor who had recently risen to fame, detailing the extensive verbal and physical abuse and bullying that she had carried out against her middle school classmates, including slapping others, throwing lunchboxes off the school rooftop, forcibly cutting a girl's hair, nearly forcing another to swallow a pack of preservatives and insulting the accuser's father during a phone conversation. Based on the clues provided in the post, netizens guessed that the actress was Park Hye-soo, who recently starred in the acclaimed movie Samjin Company English Class.
Park's agency Santa Claus Entertainment have completely denied the original accusations but additional comments and posts have since emerged on various social media backing up the accusations and claiming Park's violent behavior was common knowledge in their community, with about ten alleged victims apparently creating a group chat to collect evidence and prepare further accusations and plans.
As a result of this growing controversy, Park's planned appearances on several radio and variety shows, including Yoo Heeyeol's Sketchbook, have already been cancelled. Her upcoming drama Dear.M, scheduled to start airing on the 26th, is also expected to be badly affected by the controversy.
But in a further development, the original accuser has since deleted her original post, claiming that Park Hye-soo was in fact not the actor she was referring to, denying that she had specifically indicated Park was the bully in question and claiming to have gotten in touch with the actual bully. However, the later group of victims distanced themselves from the original accuser, stating she was not one of them and they maintained their accusations against Park.
On the 23rd, Santa Claus Entertainment stated that they have submitted a lawsuit against various accusers save for the original accuser who later denied Park was her bully.
On February 21st, school violence accusations were posted regarding actor Kim Donghee (who coincidentally got his big break playing brothers alongside Jo Byung-gyu in the 2019 drama Sky Castle). The poster claimed not to be a victim themself but that Kim Donghee's abusive and bullying behavior in elementary and middle school was very well-known in their community. The accuser claimed Kim had been an extreme delinquent who even smoked in class and that he frequently targeted other kids he viewed as weak, including a disabled classmate whom he would force to play a 'game' that involved Kim repeatedly slapping the other student in the face.
After the first accusations gained media attention, more emerged, including one alleged former classmate who claimed that Kim's mother had recently called his family to apologize and ask forgiveness on Kim's behalf. This accuser claimed that Kim had once repeatedly punched and choked him in the hall during an argument and threatened him with a sharp object and further reiterated the claim that Kim regularly abused and humiliated their disabled classmate, including kicking and tripping him in the bathroom.
Kim's agency NPO Entertainment has denied the accusations, stating they had confirmed with Kim and school employees that he had never committed school violence and further stated that a previous 2018 post alleging similar things had also been false but the agency had disregarded it since it was soon deleted. They have also stated they have secured a legal representative and will begin legal proceedings soon.
Mingyu of Seventeen
On February 22nd, a netizen posted an account accusing Mingyu of Seventeen of having been part of a gang of bullies since elementary and middle school, and regularly engaged in verbal abuse and occasional physical violence against the accuser and other students. The accuser described how Mingyu insulted and laughed at them when other bullies were verbally abusing them and threw objects such as bottle caps at the accuser for fun and claimed there was at least one incident when he took money from them after becoming a trainee and an incident where he brought them up to the rooftop of the school building and threatened them. The post was accompanied with numerous screenshots of Mingyu apparently using derogatory and insulting language towards and about other students in his Facebook timeline.
Pledis has denied all accusations of bullying and further claimed the accusations were false on the basis of some inaccurate information, such as the pictured yearbook not being the the correct one and the accuser not knowing the correct year Mingyu became a trainee. The original post has since been deleted.
Sohye formerly of I.O.I
On February 22nd, a netizen claiming to be a middle school classmate of Sohye formerly of I.O.I accused her of being a bully who regularly bragged about beating up and intimidating other students, including one girl who she had pulled to the ground by her hair. The accuser claimed that Sohye was very well known in the neighborhood as a bully and had frequently gotten in disciplinary trouble for it and included screenshots of Sohye sending threatening and derogatory online messages to other students. More comments then emerged claiming that Sohye was a well-known bully in her school district and community. Yet other netizens claiming to be former classmates have sided with Sohye, claiming she was not violent or a bully and the messages were taken out of context.
Sohye's agency S&P Entertainment have made a statement categorically denying the accusations and reiterated that Sohye had previously been the subject of bullying rumors that had been disproven. Sohye and her agency had previously sued a netizen for spreading rumors of bullying in 2018 but had ultimately decided not to prosecute.
Hyunjin of Stray Kids
On February 22nd, a netizen claiming to be a middle school classmate of Hyunjin of Stray Kids wrote a detailed account accusing him of bullying her in middle school, claiming that he constantly said derogatory and offensive things about her and her family in their class group chat and harassed and verbally abused her and her friends for petty reasons such as telling him to close the classroom door or getting more than their fair share of food from the lunch line. She claimed he further lead the other boys in class in cyberbullying her and harassing her for the rest of the year even after they changed classes and he didn't interact with her as directly anymore. The accuser included screenshots of a conversation with another classmate that seemed to corroborate her statements.
Further accusations have emerged claiming that Hyunjin verbally threatened and physically intimidated and cyberbullied other students as well. Other posts have also been made claiming to be former classmates and stating that Hyunjin and the accuser did not like each other or get along but the dynamic was not one-sided bullying as was being claimed.
JYP Entertainment responded, stating that they are reaching out to other students and teachers from Hyunjin’s school to gather more information and invited the accuser to contact them directly to discuss the accusations. However they further stated that they have confirmed that the certain aspects of the spreading rumors are at least partially false and intend to pursue legal action against those responsible for spreading them.
Kihyun of Monsta X
On February 22rd, a netizen posted to an online community claiming to be a former middle school classmate of Monsta X’s Kihyun and claimed to have photos of Kihyun drinking and smoking as a middle school student that they threatened to release. The poster accused Kihyun of being one of a few delinquent kids in their class that harassed and taunted and even occasionally hit other kids, that Kihyun was not a very serious bully himself but once took the accuser’s money and also forced him to buy cigarettes for him and he once brought another classmate to tears by insulting her. The accuser further claimed that he required psychiatric care due to the bullying he experienced in school.
In response, Starship Entertainment stated that they are reaching out to classmates and teachers from Kihyun’s school to gather more information and invited the accuser to contact them directly to discuss the accusations. Starship has also clarified that a similar post had been made in 2015 and another in 2021 by an identical person and claimed to have disproven those accusations both times. They stated they had obtained an apology from the previous accuser and a written statement committing to not repeating their behavior in the future and that they will be looking into pursuing appropriate legal action for this case if necessary.
Chuu of Loona
On February 22nd, a netizen posted to an online community claiming that Chuu of Loona, aka Kim Jiwoo had bullied her in middle school, ostracizing her from their peers and frequently starting rumors and leading verbal and cyberbullying campaigns against her and other girls in their class. The accuser also claimed Chuu repeatedly insulted her for the way she smelled and once grabbed her hair and accused her of not washing herself. The accuser also made several posts reiterating her accusations and denying that she was lying.
BlockBerry Creative made a statement denying the accusations, which can be found here, claiming that the accusations had been completely fabricated and they were preparing legal action. Several other posts emerged from netizens claiming to be former classmates who supported Chuu and denied that she was ever a bully.
On the 23rd, the accuser posted a handwritten apology letter claiming to have exaggerated her accusations and stated that she and Chuu did not get along in school and she impulsively exaggerated and fabricated her claims of bullying behavior but realized the seriousness of what she’d done when it started gaining media attention. All the original accusation posts have been deleted.
Aisha of Everglow
On February 22nd, Aisha of Everglow aka Heo Yoorim was accused of a bullying when netizen posted to an online community claiming that a female idol she called “A” had bullied her in middle school and the accuser was still suffering from lingering rumors as a result of that bullying. The accuser claimed that A began targeting her when she started dating a male friend and ex-boyfriend of A’s. A began asking the accuser about her sexual experience and started consistently harassing her and calling her a whore, escalating to making increasingly inappropriate and explicit sexual comments in front of their classmates. The accuser described an incident where A grabbed her by the neck and pushed her partway through the classroom window while screaming at the accuser’s then ex-boyfriend outside that the accuser “wanted to f*ck him,” which was heard by many other students and increased harassment and rumors about the accuser. Based on the clues provided, netizens deduced that Aisha was the idol in question.
Everglow’s agency Yue Hua Entertainment has stated that they confirmed with Aisha that the accusations are false and that she does not know who would make such claims against her. However several other netizens claiming to be former classmates have come forward backing up the original accusations.
On February 22nd, a netizen posted to an online community claiming that Hyuna was a bully when they were in the same class in 5th grade of elementary school, that amongst other things she would call other kids out behind the school building and go around and insult them and slap each of them in the face and take off their glasses and throw them on the ground. The accuser also claimed they were aware there would be no evidence of Hyuna’s behavior since the bullying occurred before major social media networks like Cyworld, Instagram or Kakotalk had existed or become popular and Hyuna scrubbed her early social media accounts before debuting with the Wonder Girls.
Hyuna’s agency P Nation has not made an official statement but Hyuna has personally denied the accusations in an Instagram post. She claimed she “lacked” experience in school since she began first working at such an early age beginning when she was a child actor at age 8. She further stated that by fifth grade she was a trainee who had to head straight to the company to train after school ended and concluded by stating that she had never slapped or hit anybody. The original accusations have since been deleted.
Sources (summaries and translations my own)
JBG: SBS Enter news, Soojin: Kyunghyang via Daum, MoneyToday via Naver, PHS: Donga Sports, SBS Enter news, EDaily, Newsen via Naver, KDH: Kookmin Ilbo via Daum, Donga, Mingyu: Sports Kyunghyang, Xports News via Daum, Sohye: Hankyung, HeraldPOP via Naver, Hyunjin: HeraldPOP, SBS Enter News, Kihyun: SBS Enter news, Chuu: Chosun Ilbo, Xports News via Naver, MoneyToday, Aisha: StarNews, Xports News via Naver, Hyuna: Hankyung via Naver
I think lot of people have seen most of this stuff elsewhere by this point but I thought it might help to collect it for those who are having trouble finding info. Please let me know if you see any information or details I messed up, there was so much that it kind of started to run together and my brain is feeling pretty fuzzy.