Woollim Entertainment have responded to a report by The Fact that alleged Seo Ji Soo was still involved in sexual harassment and that Woollim had tried to cover it up by threatening the accuser into silence. It’s an important step for Woollim to take, since their silence after the report did seem to condemn the company, Seo Ji Soo, and even Lovelyz to perpetual hate.
A summary of the response to The Fact article is that Woollim say that Woollim lawyers never admitted to any of the rumors against Seo Ji Soo being true, that the authorities had sided with them, and that they will be taking this matter to court.
Perhaps most interesting, though, was their rebuttal to the accusation that Woollim had threatened the accuser and tried to buy her off with money, but she refused and wanted to take it to court, at which point Woollim dropped the charges. That was damning if true, because it would seem like it was Woollim who was avoiding conflict despite their posturing. However, Woollim is asserting that they dropped the case only after the accuser agreed to stop spreading rumors in exchange for them taking a jail sentence off the table, and that the infamous threat of a million dollar fine for going public was actually the terms of her violating their agreed upon deal. Woollim is now claiming that the accuser has indeed violated those terms and will go to court over it. They also pointed out that this issue only seems to arise when Lovelyz are getting ready for activities, saying that there is malicious intent.
Additionally, Woollim plan to sue netizens for spreading false rumors and have stated the The Fact has spread false information. They have also recently posted on the Lovelyz fancafe, asking fans to notify staff of any malicious comments.
This was a necessary response after The Fact released the article they did, and I think they did relatively well.
As I said in the article about The Fact story, most everything seemed to be conjecture or more rumors without grounding in evidence except the supposed recorded evidence. On those supposed recordings of Woollim lawyers, they had been allegedly caught saying that Seo Ji Soo indeed harassed the accuser, and they also were supposedly caught threatening the accuser with financial ruin if she didn’t stay quiet.
I was always confused as to why Woollim lawyers would ever admit to their client’s guilt in a meeting, even if they didn’t know they were being recorded. It’s just something extremely stupid to say, but I chalked it up to incompetence because people can always be that stupid. In their response, however, they clarified exactly what that financial “threat” was about and have managed to clarify that it was actually something of a settlement out of court that benefited both parties. That would be par for the course in terms of settlements if it turns out to be true, and now it’s just a matter now of what comes out in court as reality and if there is any response back from the The Fact or the accuser before then.
In any case, this clearly isn’t ending anytime soon, but Woollim has done their part and are certainly acting as if they are confident that Seo Ji Soo and their team are innocent. We’ll have to wait and see if that turns out to be the case or not, but things certainly look better for them compared to yesterday.
Honestly though, one has to wonder about whether the damage has been done already, regardless.