MONSTA X’s Kihyun is among at least 10 celebrities who have been involved in bullying rumors this week alone.
To give context of why such news keep appearing, Korea is seeing a social movement of victims of school violence and bullying coming forward about their experiences. This began after famous Korean volleyball athletes, twins Lee Jae Yeong and Lee Da Yeong, were revealed to have bullied their classmates in their school days.
It was a huge controversy and caused their removal from the national team. This was followed by countless accounts claiming idols and actors bullied them.
On February 22, a post was uploaded to an online community; it was titled “I was a victim of school violence by MONSTA X’s [Kihyun].” The uploader [referred to as “A”] stated they suffered because of Kihyun, they attended the same class in their third year of middle school.
“A” says he found courage to write this because of many victims are speaking up about their experiences being bullied by idols. “A” called Kihyun a ‘delinquent who was talented and popular’ during those days. “A” claims Kihyun would have to buy him cigarettes, he says he wasn’t ‘that serious of a delinquent,’ but added that a female classmate cried after he hit her for having ‘a lot of acne.’
“A” also claimed Kihyun drank alcohol and smoked often and said they had photos of him doing these things.
On February 23, Starship Entertainment released an official statement, they wrote,
“We are currently contacting the member’s alumni, acquaintances and teachers, with the thought that we should recognize the seriousness of this issue and make utmost efforts to check the facts. We ask for your understanding in advance that it is necessary to check various facts because it has been a long time, and we are open to have a the conversation with the publisher if they allows it.
In a separate issue, the same person distributed similar content online twice in 2015 and 2021. At that time, we contacted the publisher to check the facts and as a result, we confirmed that the post was false.
We had planned to take legal action to protect our artist, but were promised they’d reflect on their actions and prevent the incident from happening again. We got a handwritten document of that promise and left it at that. Despite this clearly being stated in the handwritten document, we can no longer stand by idly and watch such intentional and repetitive actions continue spreading, thus, we will be legally holding them responsible by any possible means that can be taken by us.”
They also promised to do their best to protect Kihyun’s rights and interest by taking strong legal action against slander and spread of false rumors