While it was underreported at the time, ITZY‘s Lia did face her own bullying allegation back in February. However, most didn’t think anything of it as the issue didn’t expand and JYP Entertainment took legal action against the accuser.
In February, the alleged victim (henceforth referred to as “A”) uploaded a post titled, “Victim of school violence perpetrated by famous female idol born in 2000.” A wrote that she was middle school classmates with the perpetrator who borrowed money without returning it, spoke badly of her to other students, and made A and other classmates outcasts for no reason. When the post was uploaded, JYP Entertainment stated they had already sued A for defamation the year before and that investigations were ongoing.
Well, now it’s been revealed that said defamation lawsuit has been dismissed by police.
On June 13, Incheon Yeonsu Police Station revealed that A was cleared of her defamation charges. After investigating A, the police decided that the post was an expression of the things A experienced, rather than an attempt to slander Lia, and that there was not enough evidence to prove that claims in the post were false. A source from the police stated, “Overall, considering the circumstances surrounding how A uploaded the post on an online community as well as the contents of the post, it was judged that the suspicions of defamation were not valid.”
The alleged victim also still maintains that she was bullied and wants an apology.
In a call with Yonhap News, A commented, “I still have a hard time mentally when I think about those days. I am hoping for a genuine apology.”
JYPE released a statement about the outcome, saying that they do not accept the judgement.
In response to the news, JYP Entertainment stated, “We have seen the outcome through press reports and are figuring out the progress of the situation. However, it is difficult to accept the outcome as is. We will decide our response once we have figured out the progress more thoroughly.”
Relevantly, since people react to court outcomes as if they indisputably prove things, this doesn’t actually definitively rule on the bullying. It’s saying that falsifying the accuser’s account of things is difficult and that it wasn’t defamatory in itself.
Of course, given that this is the second time JYPE sued this person for defamation, it doesn’t really seem like there’s much more to figure out. While I understand their desire to continue since this outcome certainly doesn’t provide the best optics, it might be best to consider a different route.