Days after announcements that she would be returning to the group after seemingly being exonerated as the victim of a witch hunt, Lovelyz member Seo Ji Soo is back in hot water after a five-part story from The Fact was published yesterday (1/2/3/4/5). The story interviewed the alleged victim, created a timeline of the allegations against Seo Ji Soo, and also cited evidence that paints Woollim Entertainment in not the best light.
To summarize, basically the allegations against Seo Ji Soo now fall into a less dramatic range after all the bullshit has been parsed through from the previous mess. Now she’s being accused of having a relationship with a woman, threatening to out people, sexually harassing, and spreading rumors. That is obviously not as bombastic as her being an animal torturing, sexual assaulting, butt-plug enthusiast, which is where most people founded their disbelief in the accusations, but this seems a lot less cartoonish at least.
After all this went down, Woollim did indeed basically sue everybody involved, and they got multiple people on charges of spreading false rumors, but that’s also where the problem lies. The people making up the ridiculous parts of the rumors got charged and got the coverage from the media, but the alleged victim interviewed for this article says she got hit with a defamation charge (remember, truth is not a defense in Korea) but still wanted to take her case to court, at which point Woollim dropped the case before it could get in front of a judge. The implication of that action by Woollim being, of course, that they didn’t want details of the case to get revealed.
Arguably the most important part of all this comes in the evidence section, where Woollim allegedly attempts to cut a deal with the alleged victim and then threatened her with a million-dollar lawsuit should she ever talk about this to the media or on the Internet again. That … well … obviously that failed if it happened.
Okay, so there’s actually a lot to parse through and I would be floored of this ended here (it won’t).
Personally, I had figured most of this was garbage based on much of the hard evidence emerging as fabricated, the accusations themselves being inconsistent, and the police/prosecutors siding with Seo Ji Soo and Woollim on all the cases thus far. However, now that things have been made clearer by the accuser, I think it’s fair to open this to questioning again, especially the law aspect of it all.
I found the clarified accusations and the subsequent alleged actions of the company believable, so the case was made effectively, but I did have questions about the evidence. My main problem right now is that none of the hard evidence in the form of text messages appears to be all that damning as far as I can tell, but the supposed recording transcripts absolutely destroy Woollim. Thus, I don’t understand why we aren’t allowed to hear the audio from that, because that’s where the serious shit went down. In the end though, a lot of the validity of these evidences will be answered in the response, or lack thereof, from Woollim.
As somebody legitimately without investment into Seo Ji Soo and Lovelyz beyond snarky articles, if this article goes unchallenged, it would understandably destroy Seo Ji Soo, Woollim Entertainment, and perhaps Lovelyz as a group. The bottom line is that Woollim has to shut this down with a lengthy response that explains everything or risk never-ending blowback, less because of what was actually done and more because of how it was handled after the fact (like with Lee Tae Im/Yewon).
We shall see.