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The top 5 K-Pop harassment scandals

Bullying scandals are becoming more common in the industry. Several idols have been accused of such behavior after their debuts. Here are the top five K-pop bullying scandals.

1. Soojin ((G) I-DLE)

(Photo: (G) I-DLE Twitter)
The top 5 K-Pop harassment scandals

In 2021, Soojin, a former (G) I-DLE member, was embroiled in controversy when a purported former schoolmate identified as “A” claimed that Soojin had once stalked her younger sister.

“A” accused Soojin of calling the victim and her friend to the bathroom, forcing them to physically hurt each other. They claimed that the former idol also sent group messages calling the victim a loner and an outcast. “A” also claimed that Soojin had extorted money from other students, smoked minors, and rode motorcycles with older men.

Actress Seo Shin Ae joined the conversation when she posted a story on Instagram with the words “None of your excuses.” The actress claimed that Soojin bullied her in school as well. Supporters of Soojin defended the idol, saying that Seo Shin Ae was spreading lies to gain fame and asked her to apologize to Soojin.

Soojin made several statements contradicting the rumors. She stated that she never met or stalked Seo Shin Ae while they were students. CUBE Entertainment released a statement saying it would investigate the situation.

After months of hiatus, Soojin left the group in August 2021.

2. APRIL

The top 5 K-Pop harassment scandals

(Photo: Hankook Ilbo)
The top 5 K-Pop harassment scandals

Hyunjoo first left ARPIL in 2016, and DSP Media claimed she chose to leave to pursue an acting career. However, in February 2021, Brother Hyunjoo took to online community forums to reveal that she had actually left the group due to intimidation by other members.

Brother Hyunjoo revealed that the former APR member suffered from suicidal tendencies and panic disorders due to bullying. Another user, who claimed to be a friend of Hyunjoo, claimed that the other members of ARPIL would make sarcastic remarks around her and mock her, especially Naeun.

In April 2021, Hyunjoo wrote a post in which she admitted that her fellow APRIL colleagues had harassed her for three years. She claimed to have suffered physical and verbal abuse during this time.

APRIL and DSP Media members denied these claims. However, APRIL soon lost fame and his concerts and was criticized online. APRIL disbanded in 2022.

3. Jimin (AOA)

The top 5 K-Pop harassment scandals

(Photo: Cookie News)
The top 5 K-Pop harassment scandals

In 2020, former AOA member Mina entered Instagram to accuse Jimin of abusing her for ten years, leading to suicidal thoughts. Mina claimed that she had left the group and could no longer bear the bullying.

Mina even accused Jimin of bullying four more people and one died. Jimin initially denied the rumors on his Instagram Stories, calling them fiction. However, Jimin apologized to Mina at the height of the controversy. That same year, Jimin left AOA and retired from the entertainment industry.

Mina continued to make claims against Jimin. However, she soon found herself under observation after Internet users noticed discrepancies in her stories. Dispatch also published an article claiming that Jimin and Mina apologized and patched their relationship months before Mina’s first post.

4. T-NOW

The top 5 K-Pop harassment scandals

(Photo: Yonhap News)
The top 5 K-Pop harassment scandals

Hwayoung left the T-ARA in 2012, claiming members had intimidated her. She told about the incident on the reality show “Taxi”. Her twin sister Hyoyoung endorsed her sister’s claims.

Reportedly, Jiyeon and Eunjung were the members of the group who mistreated Hwayoung the most. Internet users soon discovered that members’ videos embarrassed Hwayoung, treated her like an outcast and ignored her in front of the cameras. In addition, an intern from the same agency as T-ARA claimed that Jiyeon and all members were bullying Hwayoung.

In 2017, staff members stepped forward and claimed that it was Hwayoung and Hyoyoung who intimidated members by posting messages showing that Hyoyoung had threatened Areum with physical harm. In addition, the stylists revealed that Hwayoung was disrespectful to them and revealed that she feigned an injury to gain sympathy.

While Hwayoung initially denied these claims and attacked the staff, she eventually confessed the truth. As a result, she was suffering from enormous slack.

5. Kim Garam (LE SSERAFIM)

The top 5 K-Pop harassment scandals

(Photo: Yonhap News)
The top 5 K-Pop harassment scandals

In April 2022, after Kim Garam was announced a member of LE SSERAFIM, the idol was accused of bullying. Pictures of the idol posing with inappropriate drawings have been shared online, as well as screenshots of NSFW news. Moreover, Internet users claimed that she would curse other students, talk behind her back and smoke minors.

The victim soon stepped forward, claiming that Kim Garam had abused her. She revealed that she received malicious messages from the idol and her friends and was a victim of violence at the hands of her. Due to the anxiety and fear she experienced, she moved schools.

Although HYBE initially denied these claims, opposition to Kim Garam was so intense that it eventually suspended operations. During her break, more former schoolmates spoke of the alleged bullying of Kim Garam.

In July 2022, Kim Garam left THE SERAFIM

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With a screenplay by Alexa Lewis

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