1. Onew’s club scandal
In 2017, news broke that SHINee‘s Onew had been accused of sexually molesting a woman at a club. A report accused the idol of inappropriately touching a woman in her 20s at a club in Gangnam.
On the night in question, a woman said she felt someone touching her and her friend claimed that Onew was the one who had done it. The police were called and those involved were reportedly questioned for 5 hours.
The police then charged Onew with forced sexual molestation without detainment.
At this point, SM Entertainment released a statement sticking by their artist and said that everything was just a misunderstanding.
“We would like to express our position on the incident involving Onew the media has been reporting on. Onew is a public figure and things about him aren’t being reported well. We are deeply reflecting on what has been a cause of concern for many people. Onew went to a club with his friends on the morning of August 12 to celebrate his debut as a DJ. While he was drunk and dancing, he accidentally made contact with the people around him, which caused a misunderstanding that was then investigated by police. The aggrieved party has recognized that this situation could have been caused by his being drunk, and has therefore agreed that it was all a misunderstanding. They have stated that they do not wish for him to be punished and have submitted a request to drop all of the charges. Onew will sincerely participate in the remaining investigations. Please refrain from reporting any additional speculation. We apologize for any inconvenience.” — SM Entertainment
Although SM Entertainment’s statement made it seem that the allegations against Onew would soon be over, things were going to get worse before they got better. The very next day, the alleged victim stepped forward and said that the music company had coerced her into dropping the charges.
“The victim said that Onew was very drunk so that’s why he acted the way he did. SM Entertainment requested that she drop the lawsuit and she signed the papers. Even though she dropped the lawsuit, she said that that does not change the truth. She continued to say that everything she said in her statement is still true.” — Police officer (on victim’s statement)
The case was handed to the prosecution and, after a few months of silence, Onew issued his own apology for all the pain he had caused his fans. Some netizens remained doubtful of his sincerity and actions. They requested that he either leave SHINee or be dropped from the group.
Onew did not, however, leave the group. In early 2018, the case was dismissed and the prosecution found him innocent while all charges against him were dismissed.
2. Yoochun’s alleged rape
JYJ‘s Yoochun faced some major negative attention back in 2016. In June, a woman stepped forward claiming that Yoochun had raped her in the bathroom of the bar she worked in.
While the allegations were already serious enough, the supposed victim’s boyfriend submitted her underwear and clothes to the police as evidence. Soon after, three more women stepped forward all claiming that they too had been raped by the singer in a bathroom.
After a thorough investigation, evidence was found that Yoochun’s first accuser had contacted his company and sought monetary compensation prior to filing the police report. After talking with her again, she admitted that the two had actually had a consenting adult relationship. He was subsequently found innocent and charges were brought against the first accuser for making false accusations and for attempted extortion.
Later that same year she was found guilty and sentenced to two years.
In regards to the other three women that accused him, investigators found that Yoochun had been in China on two of the occasions and could not, therefore, have done committed the alleged crime. In the case of the last woman, investigators found inconsistencies in her statement that again proved his innocence.
3. Lee Min Ki’s sexual assault investigation
In 2016, the popular Korean actor was reportedly being investigated for sexual assault. According to reports made by Korean news source Sports Chosun, Lee Min Ki visited a club while he was performing his mandatory military service and met a woman. Two days later, the same woman reported that she was sexually assaulted.
This in turn led to much speculation about the actor’s involvement. Lee Min Ki was then called in for questioning, adding even more fuel to the fire. Later, it was proven that he had not been involved in the harassment charges and the woman involved clarified her statement and issued an apology.
4. Tzuyu’s nationality scandal
Despite being 16 at the time, TWICE‘s Tzuyu gained a lot of negative attention for one simple act. During an episode of My Little Television in 2015, each member of TWICE held up the flag of their country of origin since the group is composed of a number of different nationalities.
Tzuyu greeted online viewers as Taiwanese and she held up a Republic of China flag.
This simple act led Taiwanese, China-based singer Huang An to accuse Tzuyu of being a Taiwanese independence activist, essentially calling her a traitor. The accusations just kept coming and the poor idol was heavily criticized.
Mainland China government (People’s Republic of China) considers Taiwan under its jurisdiction although many of the islanders consider themselves independent, representing themselves as the Republic of China.
The group’s activities were cancelled and suspended while Chinese netizens boycotted JYP Entertainment as a whole. A few months later, Tzuyu released a public apology, stating that China and Taiwan are one.
“Hi everyone, I have something to say to everyone. Hi everyone, I am Chou Tzuyu. Sorry, I should have came out and apologized earlier. Because I didn’t know how to face the current situation, I have been afraid to face everyone directly, so I’m only speaking out now. There is only one China. The two shores are one. I feel proud being Chinese. I, as a Chinese citizen, have hurt the company and netizens’ emotions due to my words and actions during overseas promotions. I feel very, very sorry and guilty. I have decided to halt all current activities in China in order to reflect seriously. Again, I apologize to everyone. Sorry.” — Tzuyu
JYP Entertainment’s founder and main representative, J.Y. Park, also issued his own apology for the controversy. Luckily the apologies seemed to have worked!
“Hi everyone, I am J.Y. Park. First, I sincerely and deeply apologize for bringing pain to Chinese netizens. At the same time, I feel regretful. Tzuyu, and I did not recognize the seriousness of this situation. Through this incident, I once again deeply experienced that, to collaborate with a country, we should respect that country’s sovereignty, culture, history, and the people’s feelings. All of this has taught my company and the artists a very big lesson. In the future, we firmly will not allow similar incidents to happen. I once again offer my apologies to all of the Chinese fans who have continuously supported and liked me, my company, and its artists. We let everyone down and hurt everyone. To make up for all the damages done to everyone and to return everyone’s support, we will continue to work hard in order to contribute to the cultural exchange between the Chinese and Koreans. In the past few days, Tzuyu herself has felt a lot of emotions and has been reflecting at the same time. She was 13 when she left home and came to Korea, and it is my and the company’s fault for not being able to cultivate Tzuyu in her mother and father’s stead. We will stop Tzuyu’s current activities in China, and effectively handle all of the problems faced by affected parties due to this incident.” — J.Y. Park
5. Baekho’s sexual assualt claims
In June of 2017, an anonymous online community member claimed that NU’EST W‘s Baekho sexually assaulted her in 2009. She posted various pieces of “evidence” including videos of her speaking with Baekho and Kakao Talk conversations.
Pledis Entertainment stuck by their idol and released a statement saying the claims were completely untrue. Despite that, a investigation soon started.
After 8 months of legal dispute, all charges against Baekho were dismissed and Baekho was declared innocent.
6. Kai’s sexual violence allegations
Not to be mistaken with EXO’s Kai, musical actor and singer Kai was accused of sexual violence in 2015 after allegedly sending sexual photographs to a fan. Kai and his agency continued to deny these claims. Eventually, the case was dismissed when the investigation found that the social media account involved was an imposter.
After being proven innocent, his agency announced that they would be taking legal action and seek compensation for the damage done to his reputation and the charges and rumors that stemmed from them.
7. Jisoo’s sexual abuse, rape, assault, and more
In 2014, Lovelyz‘s Jisoo faced a whole host of terrible accusations. It all started with one accusation by a netizen who posted that she had had a homosexual relationship with the idol and claimed that Jisoo had sexually harassed her. Soon after, other posts started popping up.
Accusations ranged from assault to rape. These allegations prevented Jisoo from promoting with the group.
The next day, Woollim Entertainment requested an investigation to handle the issue and catch the person spreading the rumors. The police later found three netizens who they were believed were responsible for spreading and creating the rumors.
This, in turn, led to months of trials when Woollim Entertainment filed defamation lawsuits against the individuals. Eventually, the individuals were found not guilty of defamation but Woollim Entertainment was convinced that the fake stories had had a negative impact on the singer and promised that they would continue to seek action to reveal the truth.
“Previously, we settled with the defendants who were informally under indictment through monetary fines in their favor. However, they reported the distorted truth on the internet again with the purpose of slandering Jisoo. The prosecutor acquitting the three individuals is unjust. The non-indictment due to lack of evidence will obviously harm Seo Jisoo’s life so we will not yield to lies. We will take strong action in order to reveal the truth that has been hidden.” — Woollim Entertainment