EDITION : English/Korean


Lee Hyunjoo, Former April Member, Releases Statement Confirming She Was Bullied By Bandmates

by Victoria Marian Belmis / Apr 19, 2021 04:37 AM EDT
Lee Hyunjoo

A couple of years ago, APRIL's Lee Hyunjoo announced she was leaving the K-pop girl group due to health issues and that she also wanted to start a career in acting. But recently, it seems that there is another reason why she departed APRIL; Lee Hyunjoo was bullied.

Previously, the younger brother of Hyunjoo shared that his sister left APRIL because Lee Hyunjoo was bullied.

To give her official statement, on the 18th of March, Lee Hyunjoo took to Instagram to share her personal accounts on what happened.

Here is Hyunjoo's full account of her being bullied translated to English:

"Hi, this is Lee Hyunjoo.

Coming from multiple situations that coincidentally have risen, I was afraid of releasing my personal statement.

Until now, I am scared.

Currently, my agency has only released statements that are not true at all and they have even taken legal actions against my younger brother, who is still a young student, and also my acquaintances.

The parents of the alleged bullies have also sent me and my parents text messages that put us on blame.

It is true that I hesitated for a long time because I was scared of how they would make me suffer if I released a personal statement regarding the matter.

But for the sake of the people who showed courage and supported me, I felt like I needed to finally muster up the courage now, which is why I'm writing this.

The bullying began back in 2014, when I was preparing for my debut, and continued until 2016, up until I left the group. I was 17 years old at the time and I had to live in a dorm while preparing for my debut. I had to spend 24 hours a day with the perpetrators in a place where there was no one I could ask support from.

Since it was too unbearable, I told my parents about my situation and my parents tried talking to the CEO [of my agency]. However, I continuously found myself in a situation where I was put to blame instead. After the perpetrators found out about this, they bullied me even more. I was only allowed to call my parents for a short time while being in front of our manager. Through this, the situation became worse, making me feel smaller and smaller.

What is now known to the public is only a small fraction of what actually happened.

In the three years, I suffered from violent actions, ridicule, swearing, and attacks on my character, and it was especially painful to bear groundless insults and attacks on the character of my precious grandmother, mom, dad, and younger brother. The agency knew about this, but only looked on without taking any measures to respond.

Because of this, I fell into an endless darkness and I made an extreme decision, but it did not look as though they felt anything or felt even the slightest bit apologetic. Using the reason that my agency one-sidedly prepared for me, I ended up leaving the group, and as a result, I had to face repeated malicious comments, ridicule, and even the stigma of being a traitor.

Because I felt like it was my fault that I had given my family unhealable scars, I tried to live more diligently, positively, and healthily.

However, even after time had passed, it wasn't easy to forget the memories of my suffering.

The dark memories of that time remained in a corner of my heart, and they became a trauma that seemed like it would swallow me whole.

I had to go through a difficult time in which it negatively affected me and the people around me.

While I was going through that, the people around me mustered a great deal of courage on my behalf, which prompted me to take a stand.

Currently I am also trying to gather courage for my younger brother alongside our acquaintances.

Due to this experience, I have learned that there are many people who are cheering me on. Due to this, I am grateful.

I'd like to thank the people who worry about me and ask me how I'm doing each and every day. From this, I was able to gain strength.

I also learned that there are many people who are suffering from emotional wounds that are similar to mine.

It seems like the bullying and ostracism we suffer when we are young stays with us as trauma.

I think it's impossible for everyone in the world to get along with me, and hateful emotions can naturally develop at times. However, I don't think violence or bullying can be justified for any reason. I believe that ostracism and bullying against anyone, anywhere must go away no matter what.

Although I am still struggling with the trauma and memories of that time until now, even after seven years have passed, I believe I must not resign myself to the fact that I can not recover and live my life not happy.

That's why I want to show the people who have gone through similar pain that victims can also recover from their wounds and live happily and healthily once more.

I also want to repay the people who are rooting for me by showing them that I have overcome this situation.

I sincerely thank you for giving me lots of support and strength.

You have given me a great deal of courage.

Currently, all my activities through my agency have been stopped, and any new activities that have been offered to me have all been rejected without consulting me. DSP Media has also stated that they cannot terminate my contract.

From now on, I will no longer stand by without taking action to protect myself, my family, and my acquaintances.

I will also respond to the criminal lawsuit my agency has filed against me with the help of the people who are supporting me.

Although it won't be easy, I will try to show you that I have recovered through a wide array of activities and a newer, healthier, and brighter side of myself, after I wrap this up well and leave my difficult past behind.

For both myself and all the people reading these words, I hope that the rest of the month will be happy and warm.

Thank you."

The post currently has 186,956 likes and thousands of comments showing support and words of encouragement from her fans. 

DSP Media and APRIL members Chaewon and Yena also released a statement denying all the allegations.

Lee Hyunjoo was bullied and is still going through the trauma. This just shows how difficult it is to get over this type of pain in the industry and outside.


To read about an ex-employee of DSP Media calling out Hyunjoo for the 'false' bullying accusations, click here.

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