A netizen recently alleged that she was bullied by Hyolyn 15 years ago in middle school for a span of three years.
The alleged victim explained that during the three years of middle school, Hyolyn had habitually taken her clothes and money and assaulted her at an apartment playground. She also claimed, “[Hyolyn] would make my friend meet her at a karaoke room and hit her head with the mic. When she hit her, she always made sure that [my friend] would hit her back, so that it became mutual.” “At the time, I was scared of retaliation, so I couldn’t tell [the police], and I just waited for graduation,” she stated, adding that she continues to suffer from the memories of the time. As evidence, she revealed Hyolyn’s graduation photos as well as messages shared between herself and her friend from middle school.
Hyolyn’s agency Brid3, which I believe is basically just her, responded with a statement.
Hello, this is Hyolyn’s agency bridʒ. We have seen the online post about Hyolyn, and we are confirming the facts as Hyolyn’s memory of the incident from 15 years ago is unclear. In addition, we are planning to personally meet the person who uploaded the post and claims to have been a victim, and we will do our best to resolve the issue. We apologize for causing concern.
In response, the alleged victim added on to her post.
“The article about her agency’s position has been released. I heard that she’s coming to see me. I don’t have the confidence to see those scary eyes. It will suffice to receive an apology through a phone call and for her to personally release a statement and reflect on herself. I sent her another message through social media, but I haven’t gotten a response. Please sincerely apologize through a call.”
At this point, I’m not sure the optics were all that great for Hyolyn. There was a rather detailed bullying claim made that was seeking just an apology, and her response was essentially “come say it to my face, bro”, which is obviously not what a bullying victim would want to do. It would be unclear what happened but obviously not a great look.
Later though, Hyolyn’s agency released a more detailed statement, pointing out that the accusation was deleted and that they would be suing for defamation.
This is Hyolyn’s agency bridgʒ. We are releasing an additional statement in regards to the online post about Hyolyn, which was reported on by the media today. First, we would like to express our deep regret at the media reporting on the victim’s claims without confirmation. All of the posts titled Hyolyn’s school violence were deleted a short while ago without any notice. We are deeply upset by this situation, which was caused by someone who brought about all kinds of speculation and controversy in a space where it could spread to a large number of unspecified people, then, after deleting the posts, insists on simply receiving an apology. Due to these unconfirmed, one-sided claims, the image and reputation of an artist who has walked the same path for the past 10 years have been immensely damaged, and her promotions in the entertainment industry have been severely disrupted. Hyolyn will not avoid these matters related to her, and the agency will hold the person who made the posts in question accountable for the unbearable insult and defamation [to Hyolyn’s character]. Additionally, if she continues to exploit the fact that our agency’s artist is a celebrity and attempts to mislead public opinion, we will not sit back and watch, but take even stronger action instead. We apologize once again to those who care about Hyolyn for causing unwanted concern.
Somebody claiming to be the original poster of the allegations responded.
I’m the person who posted on Nate Pann. A few hours after the articles [about my posts] were published, I received a DM [direct message] from Kim Hyo Jung [Hyolyn’s given name]. She said, ‘I just arrived at the airport after wrapping up my overseas schedule… I’m sorry, I contacted you late. If it’s alright, I want to meet up and talk with you now… could you send me your contact information?’ I haven’t heard from her in six hours. I heard from some of our middle school classmates that she was asking around about my contact information, so I directly gave her my number through DM, but I’ve heard nothing since. Nate has blocked my IP address. After saying she wanted to meet and talk, she’s changed her stance without contacting me and is now saying that she’ll sue.
Nate Pann then responded saying they did ban her account but they didn’t delete any posts.
In response, a source from SK Communications, the company in charge of operating Nate Pann, clarified, “The IP address that ‘A’ used [to post] was blocked on May 6 in accordance to the internal policy for sharing illegal promotional posts.” The source continued, “If ‘A’ was trying to upload the post at a PC Bang (internet cafe), she would have succeeded had she moved to a different seat.” SK Communications also confirmed that the posts were deleted by “A” herself.
Not sure what to think at this point. The defamation suit itself isn’t all that important as you can win those even if the accusations were true, but given that this has turned into A Thing, I assume we’ll get more details as it progresses.
Publicly though, Hyolyn’s likely biggest problem is that people had already thought she was connected with stuff like this, so it’ll likely feed that narrative regardless of whether anything comes out that actually substantiates the bullying accusation. Granted, her initial response to this also did her no favors.