In recent months, we’ve gotten busy stuffing handfuls of popcorn into our mouths while closely watching how South Korean entertainment companies are doing their damage control for the idols.
Earlier in May, EXO’s Kris filed a contract termination lawsuit against SM Entertainment while EXO’s Baekhyun was found dating Taeyeon from SNSD Girls’ Generation the following month. In June, 2NE1’s Park Bom suffered from harsh criticism due to the controversial drug smuggling case that resurfaced from 4 years ago.
Clearly, Korean media outlets are now taking control of the K-Pop industry because another “K-Pop shitstorm” has erupted as SS501 heartthrob Kim Hyun Joong is now facing criminal charges for alleged assault on his ex-girlfriend.
Who is Kim Hyun Joong?
In case you were wondering, Kim Hyun Joong is best known for his role as Yoon Ji-hoo in the 2009 Korean drama, “Boys Over Flowers”, and as Baek Seung-jo in “Playful Kiss”. Both of the characters he portrayed in the drama have attracted hoards of female fans across the world and earned him Popularity Awards at prestigious award shows including the 45th Baeksang Arts Awards and the Seoul International Drama Awards 2009. Due to the characters he has portrayed in the drama series, there has barely been any bad rumours regarding his behaviour and many had fallen for his kind on-screen personality.
In 2010, the singer-turned-actor left DSP Media and officially joined Key East to debut as a solo artiste with his Korean mini albums “Break Down” and “Lucky” in 2011. He was recently praised for his role of Shin Jeong Tae in 2014 action-thriller drama, “Inspiring Generation”, as he demonstrated his versatility in acting. Viewers were fascinated to watch Hyun Joong’s character transformation as he was always known for his soft spoken pretty boy roles in his previous dramas.
What Happened Between Hyun Joong and His Girlfriend?
Perhaps it was due to the fact that he had to take on different characters that has resulted in his sudden change of real-life behaviour.
According to Dispatch, Kim Hyun Joong’s ex-girlfriend claimed that she was abused by Kim Hyun Joong multiple times over a period from May 2014 to June 2014. She decided to file a report against him at the Songpa police station when the same incident happened again in July. A friend of his girlfriend revealed that the couple had been dating since 2012 but got into a physical fight after having troubles about other women.
“The past two months were a repetition of beatings, apologies, and forgiveness. However, the situation got worse, and that’s why she decided to report it,” her friend said.
His alleged girlfriend sent in the evidence of her alleged relationship with Kim Hyun Joong as well as a medical certificate proving her injuries. It was reported that she suffered injuries to her face, chest, arm, and butt that took her 2 weeks to recover, and she spent another 6 weeks in the hospital after Hyun Joong fractured her ribs.
KeyEast Entertainment’s Official Statement vs Dispatch’s evidence
The Songpa police station also confirmed that a report had been filed against the star but they also said that they will need to investigate further.
Hyun Joong’s agency, Key East, dismissed the claims instead and assured fans that Hyun Joong’s worldwide concert tour will continue to fulfil the contractual agreement. It took the agency a day to release an official statement regarding the allegations of assault made against Hyun Joong. Through an official statement, the agency vaguely confirmed that Hyun Joong has indeed injured his ex-girlfriend:
After confirming (with Kim Hyun Joong), we found that it’s true the 2 parties have known each other since 2012, but they didn’t start dating until a few months ago… In the middle of their relationship, the two had an intense exchange of words. Though it’s true that in their heightened emotional state things got physical, it’s not true that there was continual physical assaults or that she’s been battered and beaten over the past 2 months like what was reported.
While Hyun Joong is taking time off to think and reflect upon himself, Dispatch dug deeper into the accusations made against him and found the below contradictory statements from both parties:
Previously, his ex-girlfriend stated that they had been dating since 2012 but Key East claimed that the 2 have only known each other since 2012 and only dated for a few months. Dispatch then revealed that the text messages they’ve acquired proved that they’ve actually dating for 2 years.
The official statement seemingly turned into a horrible excuse when they tried to explain the reports regarding his ex-girlfriend’s fractured ribs:
Their physical fight was a one time occurrence, and her fractured ribs didn’t occur due to their recent argument. Her ribs were injured when they were playing around previously, and the next day, they met with acquaintances. As there didn’t seem to be anything abnormal, her injury wasn’t recognised. We’re very disappointed about the one-sided reports from the accuser making headlines and that the truth is being exaggerated.
However, there’s a clear indication that it’s a habitual assault as Dispatch revealed that Hyun Joong sent various apologetic messages to his girlfriend after she complained that she has bruises all over her body.
The agency then concluded that Hyun Joong is planning to fulfil his current commitments in his schedule before he complies with police investigations to resolve the case against him. The move have left Korean netizens wondering, “What is taking them so long to clarify the situation if he wasn’t guilty in the first place?”
Innocent Until Proven Guilty?
In the Korean entertainment industry, the entertainment company holds the responsibility to ensure that an idol’s image remains intact and are known to effectively minimise any damage made upon them. Thus, the assault controversy came as a shock to his fans and Korean netizens have even dug up some other evidence to prove his innocence.
However, very little that can be done to his image if Hyun Joong was proven guilty by the court of law. Domestic violence is a hidden social problem as most people are afraid to make reports against their abusive partners. In fact, most abusive partners are good at hiding the evidence and no one will believe the victims unless there’s concrete proof. It probably took some time for Hyun Joong’s ex-girlfriend to come forward as well after being subjected to such psychological trauma from the repeated assault.
While the investigation into Kim Hyun Joong’s assault still underway, the evidence of the abuse on his ex-girlfriend was released by Dispatch yesterday. It is not known how Dispatch obtained the evidence, but the photographs showed multiple bruises on her body. Dispatch also released his ex-girlfriend’s medical certificate, which was submitted to the police earlier last week.
What do you guys think? Are all the so-called evidence pointing towards Kim Hyun Joong the abuser? Or could this be a case of rumours, with attempts to frame him?