1. Goo Hara (former KARA member)
Goo Hara is K-Pop’s most recent victim of blackmailing. After news broke about her assault scandal with her ex-boyfriend, Goo Hara revealed that she had remained silent about the incident because her ex-boyfriend allegedly threatened to reveal a sex tape the two of them had made together.
Because of this tape, Goo Hara did everything she could to please her boyfriend. She was even caught on camera kneeling before him in front of an elevator.
At this time, the investigation is ongoing.
2. Dahee (former GLAM member), Lee Ji Yeon, and Lee Byung Hun
In August 2014, actor Lee Byung Hun reported a blackmail attempt to the police that involved GLAM‘s Dahee and model Lee Ji Yeon. The women claimed to have a video of him making lewd comments to them while the three were drinking together, and they had threatened to release the video if Lee Byung Hun did not give them the money they demanded.
Both idols received prison sentences for their blackmailing attempt. Lee Ji Yeon was sentenced to one year and two months in prison, and Dahee was sentenced to one year.
The two ended up receiving reduced sentences though, after Lee Byung Hun requested their pardons.
3. Big Hit Entertainment
Idols aren’t the only ones who have fallen prey to blackmailing scandals. The CEO of a contracting company was sentenced to 1 year in prison for blackmailing Big Hit Entertainment after he threatened to reveal information about an alleged illegal marketing tactic.
In 2016, Big Hit Entertainment and the contracting company had worked on a marketing project together. When the contracting company began struggling financially in early 2018, its CEO attempted to extort 330 million KRW ($291,455 USD) from Big Hit Entertainment. Out of fear that the agency’s reputation would be tarnished, a Big Hit Entertainment employee sent 5.7 million KRW ($50,335 USD), back in January.
After the case went to trial and the blackmailer was convicted, Big Hit Entertainment released a statement about the case, explaining that the claims about the illegal marketing documents were entirely one-sided.
4. Baek Ji Young
In 2000, Singer Baek Ji Young was reportedly blackmailed by her ex-manager Kim Ji Won after she voiced her desire to find a new manager. Kim Ji Won blackmailed Baek Ji Young with a sex tape the two of them had made, then secretly released the tape on November 19, 2000. After it became known that Kim Ji Won filmed the tape without Baek Ji Young’s knowledge in 1998, he fled the country and was arrested in the US in 2008 for having sex with a minor.
Although Baek Ji Young publicly apologized for the scandal, she was met with such a backlash by the public she was forced to leave the country. All her songs were taken off the air and her advertising contracts canceled. After her fall from grace, Baek Ji Young came back stronger than ever. She sued her former manager and refused to stop singing, despite public sentiment.
Nearly six years after the scandal, Baek Ji Young came back as a ballad singer and has gone on to have a successful career as the “Queen of the OST”.
5. Park Yoochun (JYJ)
In June 2016, Park Yoochun was declared not guilty after having been accused of raping four women and attempting to rape another.
According to a full statement by Park Yoochun’s agency, C-JeS Entertainment, the Seoul Central District Prosecutor’s Office ruled on January 1, 2017 that 4 accusers were guilty of attempted blackmail and false accusations. They were sentenced to two years imprisonment for their crimes.
6. Song Hye Kyo
Actress Song Hye Kyo and her mother once received a letter from a blackmailer that demanded 250 million KRW (approximately $234,000 USD). The blackmailer threatened to attack the mother and daughter with hydrochloric acid and hallucinogens if they didn’t send him the money.
The blackmailer turned out to be none other than Song Hye Kyo’s previous manager, whom she lived with for three years. Despite the threats and blackmail, Song Hye Kyo’s mother didn’t want to press charges because she believed the ex-manager would never have done such a thing.