Following the courts dismissing the defamation lawsuits from DSP Media against Hyunjoo‘s acquaintances, the PR machine started again and APRIL members Naeun and Jinsol released vague blanket denials of the bullying allegations.
The next step was apparently having the sister of Naeun release old diary entries in an attempt to paint Naeun as a sympathetic figure due to her own struggles.
“Hello, I’m APRIL Naeun’s older sister. I’ve been extremely concerned throughout this whole controversy, that Naeun might make dangerous decisions, because the Naeun I’ve known my entire life is a soft, vulnerable type who worries a lot. Recently, she gathered up the courage to share a personal statement for the first time via the fan cafe, to communicate with her fans who are thinking about her. This whole time, she believed that the truth will unveil itself because all the rumors are so blatantly false. But with time, she only became more harshly criticized.”
“Naeun called me, crying, begging for me to come over because she was terrified of being alone. While I was rushing over to her, I was nervous that she might do something and I wouldn’t get to her on time. When I found her, she was trembling in fear. But I couldn’t do much else for her except staying with her and comforting her. I felt so useless and heartbroken that I couldn’t be of any help. I had no idea that it would be this difficult to reveal the truth. From what I heard, the agency has not been able to get in touch with [Lee Hyunjoo] since the initial allegation. And the agency sent an agreement to terminate the contract with her, but she isn’t responding. Yet she told the world that the agency is stopping her from working. She claimed that my parents threatened her. My parents don’t even know her phone number. Only because my parents appeared on TV with her, my family has been hit with all the lies going around about us.”
“If you really received threats from my family, please show clear proof that you did. Your lies are literally slashing my family with scars that we’ll have to live with for the rest of our lives. You must have text messages from my parents if they actually threatened you, right? Please share them.”
“I’m attaching pictures of Naeun’s diary entries from the same time period [as when the alleged bullying took place]. She struggled a lot back then. She still doesn’t like to talk about her memories from then. She was not in the position to bully anyone because she, too, was in a lot of pain at the time.”
The diary entries were attached.
“I look back and there is nothing. It’s all hurtful things to me no matter how well I treat them. All I get is pain. How come I never took care of myself. In the end, it all became like this, even though I should have been stronger. But I won’t blame anyone. This is all my fault. I will take care of my own pain. I won’t tell anybody my position or my story. I hate myself, but that’s the answer in this world. I will live like a robot in this dirty (cruel) world. Nobody will help me, and I think this is all an experience. Things will get better from now on. You do your thing! Don’t hold any expectations from others. You’re you!”
“It’s exhausting. I’m lonely. Today was just another long day. I’m trash. I think time is going by way too slowly.”
“I thought things would get better if time passes. I hope June passes by quickly. No, I hope everything passes. It feels like I’m walking in the same position. I just feel sorry for my mom.”
“How come I am this unlucky. I am always the exhausted one and I am so tearful. How come I have no one around me who can console me and give me love. I wanted to be sincere, but everything is so fake.”
“Jelly choreography. Jelly recording. I hate it. I hate myself. Why am I like this. This world is cruel. I’m like trash. I am the worst. I don’t want to speak to anyone. I want to shut up and disappear. I won’t make anyone else sad…”
Thing is, what Naeun’s sister inadvertently revealed may have hurt her sister’s side, as the writing on the other side of one of her diary entries was reversed by a netizen and had the contrast raised, appearing to show another side to Naeun’s suffering.
“The person that we hated
I was disgusted just being with them
I hope they would just disappear in front of my eyes”
Naeun’s sister was essentially trying to prove that since Naeun was also suffering she was too damaged to bully Hyunjoo. The problem is that wouldn’t really mean anything in terms of the bullying allegation. I completely believe DSP created a toxic environment that was brutal to all the girls involved, no doubt in my mind that’s true. However, showing that a person was suffering absolutely does not mean they can’t be a bully or worse, and anybody who has dealt with mental health issues knows it may honestly make lashing out or something even more likely.
Then on top of that, the sister accidentally revealed another entry from Naeun in which she expressed hatred towards an unknown person, which people will understandably link to Hyunjoo. Really though, it just proves the point that just because she had problems of her own doesn’t mean she couldn’t also be deeply resentful of another person.
The post is now deleted.
As I’ve been saying throughout this saga, APRIL’s biggest enemies in this have been on their side. Hyunjoo and her side had their detailed allegations initially, but their credibility has been enhanced thanks to the statements of DSP Media and associates, the APRIL members, and APRIL’s family, allowing Hyunjoo’s side to poke holes in some of their narrative. Hyunjoo’s side has not provided indisputable evidence of the allegations … but it sure feels like it, right? And the funny thing is it’s the other side doing all the heavy lifting to make it seem that way.