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Seo Yea-ji's career goes into tailspin amid multiple allegations of misconduct

Actress Seo Yea-ji is facing what may be the biggest crisis of her career, concerning her reputation. A few days after she was blamed for controlling her then-boyfriend and actor Kim Jung-hyun while he was filming MBC's romance drama, "Time" in 2018, Seo has been accused of school bullying, mistreating staff and falsifying her educational background.

On Monday, local tabloid Dispatch reported that Seo and Kim, co-stars of the 2018 romance film, "Stay with Me," were dating when Kim was shooting the "Time" series, and the actress demanded him to decline to be filmed in any romantic scenes with his co-star Seohyun.

Seo allegedly pressured Kim "to change the script to delete romantic scenes and physical contact" and to "act cold" toward female co-stars and staff. Kim eventually stepped down from his role, citing sleeping and eating disorders.

Responding to reports, Seo's management agency, Gold Medalist, said Tuesday that messages exchanged by the two were, "Conversations between lovers showing jealousy over each other's physical contact with others," and are, "A commonly seen quarrel between actors who are dating."

"After checking with Kim Jung-hyun's side, we received a clear confirmation that the controversy regarding the drama did not occur because of Seo Yea-ji. It is logically difficult to accept the controversial report that a drama's lead actor would act exactly as told by someone else without his own free will," the agency said in a statement.

"All actors apply themselves to the craft of acting by putting aside their quarrels with their partners. We believe that Kim must have had an unavoidable personal matter as well," Gold Medalist added.

Seo has denied certain allegations against her, such as falsifying her educational background, and simply avoided or refused to address others.

Appearing on JTBC's variety show "Knowing Bros" in March 2017, Seo said that she attended the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain. However, the agency explained that she was admitted to the college, but chose not to attend in order to pursue her acting career in Korea.

The actress has faced scrutiny on social media after several posts were uploaded to an online forum by anonymous netizens who claimed they went to the same middle school with Seo. They accused her of school violence, including "slapping and extorting money." Seo's agency denied such allegations, saying, "We inform you that the school bullying claims are completely false."

She has also been accused of mistreating staff by often displaying derogatory and abusive behavior. Seo's agency remained silent regarding the allegations.

In the wake of multiple allegations, the actress is on the verge of being dropped from OCN's fantasy drama, "Island," which is scheduled to begin airing in the latter half of 2021.

Citing personal reasons, Seo didn't attend the press conference for her upcoming film, "Recalled" on Tuesday. "We sincerely apologize for Seo's failure to attend the press conference for 'Recalled,' causing trouble for staff, actors and reporters," Seo's agency said.

Meanwhile, actor Kim offered a public apology via a hand-written letter on Wednesday.
"I have no excuse, I apologize for my mistake and misconduct in the past. I caused so much disappointment for the director, writer, fellow actors, staff and fans, that I wish I could turn back time. My attitude at the press conference for 'Time' was irresponsible and unacceptable," he said.

Seo debuted with the sitcom, "Potato Star 2013QR3," in 2013 and rose to fame through her roles in OCN's crime drama, "Save Me," (2017) and tvN's hit romance series, "It's Okay to Not Be Okay" (2020).

Her upcoming thriller film, "Recalled," will hit theaters on April 21.





source: The Korea Times
Tags: actor/actress, scandals
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