Following the brother and friend of former April member Hyunjoo coming out and saying that she was bullied in the group, DSP Media responded a lot to both those claims and allegations against member, which were supplemented by testimony of former A-JAX members and staff.
Now though, the brother has responded to the denials, including providing evidence of his story. He says she always wanted to be an idol and only thought about acting due to the bullying
The company said that while my noona wanted to be an actress, she was placed in the team after persuasion. However, my noona had been undergoing training to be an idol, but was made an outcast right before her debut. Hence, as she thought that she could not debut with this team, she told the company her thoughts on the matter, multiple times. But the company persuaded her time and time again to take a few days off to think about it.
The post’s author claimed that Hyunjoo would return to the team each time, hoping that the bullying she was experiencing would abate and would even practice her dancing alone in her room so that she wouldn’t cause hardship for her group. In the end, Hyunjoo’s brother claims, her convictions about not becoming an idol were reinforced by her experiences. “It was not only due to the fact that she wanted to be an actress that she said she didn’t want to (be an idol) but also because of the bullying,” wrote Hyunjoo’s brother.
Essentially, he says that it was true that she suffered physically and mentally, but it was because of the bullying. She hoped it would become better over time, but it did not.
“The agency said, ‘she was not able to diligently participate in various activities with the group because of her physical and mental health,’ but the members took turns bullying her, and it became worse when they debuted. She started to form health issues when she had no place of haven where she can get away from all the pain. She had to endure everything by herself, so she started to become sick.”
During schedules and practices, as well as the way to and from home and the company, there were many instances where she fainted. The members and manager who knew she was sick, didn’t bring her to the hospital immediately and made the decision to leave her (laying) there as such. Ultimately, noona experienced much pain and difficulty breathing and tried to recover while attending various hospitals. I recall that they didn’t let her take her medicine properly for the sake of promotional activities and practices, the medication would cause her to become drowsy.
He also says it wasn’t due to a lack of diligence but that she was actually sick.
Most importantly, he refutes the company’s report that they were effectively victims of circumstance, showing the extent of the bullying and rejecting the explanations for the tumbler and shoes incidents.
“The agency said that there were no clear victims or perpetrators, but that is wrong. My sister told the agency numerous times that she was being ostracized and bullied. The members of April will all know what they did. My sister was having so many difficulties at the dorms that she had to sleep on the waiting room floor and take showers at the company while promoting ‘Tinkerbell.'”
Continuing on, her brother claimed that there was someone else being subtly bullied at the company and Hyunjoo had taken care of that person, which resulted in her being bullied and made an outcast instead. He also spoke on the “tumbler incident,” ridiculing the company’s explanation that there were 40 to 50 tumblers in the kitchen. He also claimed Hyunjoo was scolded, instead, for leaving the tumbler in the company fridge for too long, as her name was on it.
It is true that the company gave the members sneakers as gifts. The members got a pair each with a total of 6 pairs. The member involved in the situation had a different design from my noona. As a few members had the same size, the others chose their designs first and my noona took the remaining one. However, from some point in time, that member kept wearing my noona‘s shoes and when noona asked her about it, she said she bought it herself. After checking the name written on it, she said to take them while throwing the shoes.
He also explained that the hospital said continuing would be bad, and the company gave them an ultimatum to continue to be removed, rejecting a request to rest.
“That’s when she came back home during her promotions and cried out loud telling us what had happened. She told us that someone left rotten food on her seat in the van. When she was cleaning it up and spraying perfume, the members and the manager came into the car and cursed at her, saying it smells. These things happened so many times that my sister even tried to take her own life. Still, the agency came to her hospital and told her to come back for promotions. She couldn’t handle it anymore, so she decided to leave the group.”
The brother then attached medical records.
Lastly, in the medical slip he attached, it states a hospital record dated May 11, 2016, with the admission to hospital stated at May 10, 2016, 11:38pm KST. The cause of admission was drug intoxication, commonly caused by overdose. Hyunjoo had skipped out on music broadcasts twice, dated May 12 and 13, 2016, following this incident.
It was pointed out that the F190 code is used in the case of a suicide attempt, so it was definitely that.
The medical records are key because quite frankly they shred a lot of the testimony defending the company and April, some of which either dismissed the attempt on her life as something she just contemplated but never acted on or downplayed whatever mental health issues she was having. If you notice, the statement about her hiatus happened a day after the medical records.
In the end, the brother says that he hopes everybody would help his sister get over her pain and that the members apologize and reflect.
After the onslaught of denials, this is the response I was waiting for because I thought it might be telling to see if there was anything else. While they agree on April not getting along and Hyunjoo having health problems, the brother does well in making the case that her health was a result of the bullying not the cause of any hardship within April. It’s also now somewhat hard to take the testimony of third parties seriously after seeing the medical report documenting her attempt on her life.
I mean I can only react to this kind of callousness with disgust. Like at this point, the people who handled this all did so extremely poorly even if there wasn’t explicit bullying. I’d have a problem with them regardless at this point.
Not sure where we go from here, because I’m not even sure DSP could admit it if they want to. It would be over for April and perhaps even KARD, leaving them only with their yet-to-debut boy group, so this literally seems to be their company on the line. While I would still love to hear from Hyunjoo directly, it seems like her brother is her spokesperson at this point, and DSP is certainly mobilizing others like they recognize the urgency of the situation as well, and that it doesn’t look good for now.