Following his removal from the show High School Rapper 4, contestant rapper Kang Hyun — also known as his stage name tendo — took to his Instagram and posted an apology for having been involved in a teen rape case when he was 17 years old.
The rapper, however, immediately got into a heated argument in the comments section of the said post — with a person claiming to be the victim of his sexual assault. The victim criticized Kang Hyun’s post, which focused on clarifying his “settlement” rather than sincerely apologizing to the victim.
Kang Hyun: I wanted to clarify that I was never sentenced to a ₩2,000,000 KRW fine, as what has been reported. I know what I did is wrong, but I also feel that some of the claims are unfair.
A: Oh, I thought you paid the ₩2,000,000 KRW as a fine. I now know that the ₩2,000,000 KRW was a settlement and you were sentenced to probation. I’m sorry for mixing that up. But you know, what I want to talk about isn’t whether you paid a fine or a settlement. I want to talk about the fact that you raped me and the fact that you, a rapist, is currently appearing on a television program. I’m devastated.
Following the vicious commenting back and forth, Kang Hyun then uploaded a detailed account of what happened in August 2018. He insisted, “The physical contact came consensually.”
Back in August 2018, the woman A and I had developed some feelings for each other. Via Facebook messaging, we agreed to meet up and drink sometime. On the night of the incident, she uploaded a post on Facebook asking, ‘Who wants to drink with me?‘ I commented I would and she said yes. We met up in my studio in Bupyeong and started drinking.
Neither of us could drink that much. I got tipsy first, so I lied down on the floor. A then approached me and started caressing my cheeks, asking me to sit up. Again, at the time, I had feelings for her. So I embraced her face too and kissed her. (She did not push me away, she actually kissed me back.) Things progressed. She asked if I had locked the studio door. I told her it’s broken so it doesn’t lock. She asked if the studio is soundproof. I told her it isn’t and that I can usually hear people next door. She laughed and said, ‘We better make it quiet then.’ We continued getting more physically intimate.
— Kang Hyun
Kang Hyun then revealed that the victim had been wearing tight denim — claiming that he would not have been able to force it off of her, had she tried to stop him. He continued to explain, “She even made it easier for me to take her pants off, by lifting her bottom as I tried to tug it down.” He considered this to be consent.
On the night of the incident, A was wearing very tight denim. If she really tried to fight me to stop having sex, I would not have been able to force it off of her. In fact, when I tried to slide her pants off, she made it easier for me by lifting her bottom as I tugged it down. This made me believe that she is giving consent.
During the intercourse, A actually answered a phone call from her mother. She asked me to stay quiet. She lied to her mother, saying that she is with her friend. After she hung up, we continued having sex. When I tried to remove the condom on me, she laughed and asked, ‘What if I get pregnant?‘ I told her not to worry.
After that, we stayed in bed, hugging and kissing.
— Kang Hyun
After what he considered consensual sex, however, Kang Hyun said he received a phone call from another woman, later revealed to have been contacted by A. This woman came to Kang Hyun’s studio and immediately accused him of rape.
Another woman called me on my phone and started getting upset with me. She wanted to know my location. I told her the address to the studio. When she arrived, she saw that we had taken our clothes off. She started pushing me around and accusing me of raping A. She started yelling and cursing at me.
I had what I thought was consensual sex. So I was caught off guard when the other woman got so angry. She demanded cab money so she could take A to an OBGYN. They left shortly after. And since then, the woman and A’s friends started threatening me overnight. They texted and called me, saying that they will ‘make me go to prison.’ The 17-year-old me got scared — even though the sex had been consensual. I didn’t want my parents to know that I drank and had sex as a minor. So I apologized and asked for forgiveness, which ended up acting as ‘evidence‘ against me.
— Kang Hyun
Kang Hyun also revealed that he had been beaten by A’s father the same night. The rapper pointed out A apologized to him for her father’s violent reaction.
That night, A’s father asked to see me. When I met him, he beat me. I apologized to him too because he thought I had raped his daughter. I figured it is natural for him to react this way. Later, A got in touch with me and said she didn’t know her father would get so angry. She apologized to me and said I should take care of the wound.
Had I really been her rapist, would she have called me and apologized to me? Would she have told me to take care of myself and bid me goodnight?
— Kang Hyun
Wrapping up, Kang Hyun said the police investigation which followed did not go in his favor. He insisted, “The police told my parents that rape cases usually work in favor of the victim.” He claimed that the police and A’s lawyers suggested his family settles instead of going to court.
A’s lawyer and the police told me and my parents that they know it doesn’t feel fair but that I have little chance of winning the case. They suggested that we settle at ₩2,000,000 KRW ($1,800 USD). My parents, who had been exhausted by the ongoing investigation, agreed to the settlement. The case closed. I had to complete some hours of sexual education.
If any of this is untrue, I will gladly be punished for it. I will even give up my music career forever.
— Kang Hyun
While Kang Hyun swore by what he posted, “though the order of things may be different because it happened years ago,” the victim remained adamant. In her own series of Instagram posts and comments, A clapped back at everything Kang Hyun wrote.
I didn’t want my mom to find out about what happened, so I couldn’t tell her. So yes, I’m at fault for failing to handle the situation correctly. I guess I’m also at fault for not having screamed for help, not having left your studio, not having watched how much I could drink, and not having made myself clear. None of that makes your rape ‘consensual sex‘ though. If I meant to have sex with you that night, I wouldn’t have told you to stop. But I told you to stop. I kept my mouth sealed when you tried to kiss me. I lied to my mom because I hated the idea of having her know. After you ejaculated without a condom, I had to go to the ER with a [school] sunbae (senior) because I didn’t want my mom to find out. But it was so late and the ER required my parents to be there. That’s how my parents found out.
Meanwhile, High School Rapper 4 fans remain divided. Some are “trying to stay neutral” as Kang Hyun continues to push for his “innocence,” while others are criticizing the rapper for his “unending harassment of the victim.“