Fans have claimed to have found inconsistencies with the interview.
Previously, girl group APRIL had released part one to an exclusive tell-all interview regarding their bullying accusations. On June 22, 2021, part two of the interview was released.
Excerpts from Yena‘s and Lee Naeun‘s diaries and excerpts from Naeun’s and Chaewon‘s psychological treatment sessions were published through the article in text.
- Naeun’s diary, February 25: “Unnie is sick again. Recently, all the members and I are tired. I want to know. What’s the problem. Is it too large of a thing for me to understand… does she really want to carry out her dream?”
- Naeun’s diary, February 27: “Unnie is sick again. My heart feels hot. Although she likes gifts, practice and putting in the effort, anything difficult, she doesn’t like. If she does things as such, will the things she wants end up being achieved? Is there a right way? Today was such a pathetic and difficult day.
- Naeun’s treatment records, March 31: “My condition is getting serious. I think of death a few times in a day. Unnie is trying to wear the crown without a single effort.”
- Chaewon’s treatment records, April 16: “Isn’t it so selfish to be sick one out of the two years she was training? I hate to see her now and I hate how the others are having it hard… Those who practice hard only become the fool… I think this is my limit. I’m barely scraping through each day. I don’t cry often but recently I cry every day. I want to die recently.”
- Yena’s diary, May 13, 2016: “We went through the music programs as four of us for the first time. We only made changes (to perform) as a four since two days ago so we’re still really confused and made mistakes. I was so worried. As soon as we got down from the stage, the members let out all the tears they had been holding back. Today was so depressing.”
It was said that Naeun’s diary was from 2016 and contained a calendar with stickers over the birthdays’ of her loved ones as well as her schedules. The contact numbers of her family and manager were written on the back as the girls did not have cellphones then. Naeun also stepped up to clarify the issue regarding the portion of her diary mistakenly revealed by her older sister. She explained that her entire diary had been filled with complaints about Hyunjoo’s alleged lies and two-faced actions for the month of February 2016, however, she had also written about her difficulties and emotional struggles in it. She claims that the members apart from Jinsol were all undergoing psychological treatment for the stress caused by Hyunjoo.
The reporter from Sports Kyunghyang asked the members about what had happened before Hyunjoo had left the group.
The agency was considerate of Hyunjoo who found dorm life difficult and allowed her to use her cell phone, as well as let her promote while going back and forth from her own home. However, we had it hard as Hyunjoo on the other hand, had cornered us as criminals. During the preparations for “Tinkerbell” around February to April 2016, Hyunjoo had made us out to be the perpetrators and things got serious, so we too were as tortured about it and we thought about making extreme choices every day.
Hyunjoo always claimed we stole something. However, looking at CCTV footage, we hadn’t even been at the location. One day, Hyunjoo suddenly said that she lost 100,000 KRW. She accused the maknae Jinsol of it as she used the same room as her, and she claimed that Jinsol would have it in her pockets or something and ransacked Jinsol’s back pockets, resulting in her sitting on the floor crying out of shame. She asked us to check all our bags as well so we did. It felt as if we were being stripped naked. We didn’t have human rights. We couldn’t take it. Checking the dorm CCTV and the CCTV outside the dorm, we couldn’t find anything like it.
The APRIL members furthered claimed that similar happenings had also occurred and that Hyunjoo had always made the members out to be criminals. APRIL claimed that Hyunjoo once accused Yena and Jinsol of tripping her and hitting her in the practice rooms, but it was not found on the CCTV. She then supposedly changed her statement to that it happened in front of the washrooms, but similarly, no CCTV footage was found. Another incident involving their clothes also happened.
There were sweats that were sold in basement shops for about 5000 KRW. It was navy and we all bought the same ones so we couldn’t tell whose was whose. I had worn the ones that my mom had put in my drawer for me but Lee Hyunjoo had said that it was hers. I thought that she was joking so I asked her why and she said that according to the length, it was hers. I had become someone that stole other people’s belongings again and everyone cornered me. I can’t express how I felt then. I thought that as long as this person exists, I would become a criminal. However, as such things happened frequently, later on, the members began to write numbers or initials on their personal belongings or underwear. Perhaps everyone was traumatized. Whenever we said, ‘let’s go eat’, she would say she didn’t want to then tell the agency that we left her out again. As this happened so often, we were scolded by the agency. Later on, we got neurosis and wanted to buy a recording machine.
The members further claimed that Hyunjoo had never spoken to them about the matters. She would allegedly always go to the agency first such that everyone would corner the members as criminals.
Lastly, the members explained why they thought that the bullying allegations came out.
We were scared because Lee Hyunjoo was always sick and skipped practice and was like a time bomb that could explode at any time. It’s true that we were cautious with every word we said. But as members, we tried to understand and take care of her and get along because we wanted to protect both APRIL and Lee Hyunjoo. We held a birthday party for Lee Hyunjoo in February 2016, before her leaving the group. This video was not filmed for the purpose of broadcasting and was actually just a birthday party video. We turned off all the lights and held a surprise party, and Lee Hyunjoo looked so happy as she blew out the candles. If she had been bullied and we were the bullies, we could not have had such a fun birthday party. At that time, we didn’t have money and I was receiving 50,000 KRW allowance from my mom. I went to the underground shopping center at Gangnam station to buy her shoes as a birthday gift and put in a letter that said, ‘I hope unnie is happy’ and put it in her locker. Later, Lee Hyunjoo wore those shoes when she appeared on The Unit. I felt so happy then. If I were the perpetrator who showed violence against her, would she have worn those shoes on the show?
As a final message to Hyunjoo, the girls had one thing to say.
Why are you forgetting the good memories with the members and only remembering the distorted memories… it’s so sad. Our seven years of hard work have just disappeared and even our families are being criticized and in great pain. APRIL received the title of ‘a group that inflicts bullying’ and even as time passed, our members are still living with the title of ‘bullying perpetrator’. I want to receive an apology from Lee Hyunjoo for making this situation, and I want her to make things right again with her own hands.
Previously, Hyunjoo’s younger brother had stepped up, claiming that his sister had been bullied severely, leading to suicide attempts. After DSP Media had denied such claims, other acquaintances that claimed to be Hyunjoo’s classmates reiterated the bullying allegations. Hyunjoo’s most recent statement can be read here.