K-drama’s biggest scandal: K-drama actress Seo Ye-ji, 31, who has in the past week been embroiled in controversy over how she had allegedly controlled her ex-boyfriend Kim Jung-hyun, has lost a slew of endorsement deals. Seo Ye-ji, whose appearance in 2020’s It’s Okay to Not Be Okay made her a huge international star, is facing what may be the biggest crisis of her career.
K-drama’s biggest scandal: Actress Seo Ye-ji’s Scandal
A few days after she was blamed for controlling her then-boyfriend, actor Kim Jung-hyun, while he was filming MBC’s romance drama Time, Seo has been accused of school bullying, mistreating staff and falsifying her educational background.
The actress has been the subject of allegations that she bullied her then boyfriend, actor Kim Jung-hyun, while he was filming the 2018 MBC drama Time, causing him to drop out of the drama. These allegations were followed by allegations from former middle school classmates who said that the actress bullied them during school. Seo Ye-ji’s agency, Gold Medalist, released a statement on April 12, denying the bullying allegations and any role in Kim Jung-hyun leaving the drama Time. The scandal has reignited earlier claims that Seo bullied her former classmates and staff, and even lied about studying abroad in Madrid.
Actress Seo Ye-ji: What actually happened?
It was rumored that Kim Jung Hyun had been dating his Crash Landing On You (2019) co-star Seo Ji-hye, 36, for a year, although both their management agencies have denied it. Now, a former lover of his, Seo Ye-ji, 31, has been named as the person behind his unprofessional behaviour on the set of 2018 drama Time, which he eventually left.
According to text messages allegedly between Seo Ye-ji and Kim obtained by South Korean entertainment portal Dispatch, she had ordered that he have no physical contact with his female co-star, singer-actress Seohyun, 29. Seo Ye-ji, who met Kim on the set of 2018 movie Stay With Me, had commanded him to remove all “skinship” scenes – the term refers to intimate, non-sexual touching – as well as to act stern to female staff on set. He also had to send her videos from the set for her to monitor his actions.
According to an analysis by Dispatch, which compared the script to the actual episodes, numerous scenes in which Kim and Seohyun would have touched were changed. Even in a wedding scene, they walked down the aisle without holding hands. It also quoted people who were on the set, who said Kim had frequently asked for script changes and would hinder Seohyun from getting into character, causing her to break down during filming.
One anonymous source said: “He constantly requested to adjust the script on set. If his requests weren’t met, he then ran out and dry heaved.”
Actress Seo Ye-ji: School Bullying
This particular issue goes all the way back to March 2014, when a netizen posted online, claiming, “Seo Ye-ji bullied me in middle school and even extorted me”.After Seo made her debut in TVN’s Potato Star 2013QR3, the alleged bullying victim posted photos of Seo during her middle school years, but it didn’t get much traction as Seo wasn’t yet the K-drama queen that she is now. Seo’s fans also hit back by questioning the veracity of the photos and the victim’s claim of being Seo’s former classmate, saying that the old photos don’t bear much resemblance to Seo in the present day.
Koreaboo also reported that the victims offered an explanation as to why they didn’t speak up about the issue earlier, saying, “The reason why the school violence and bullying didn’t blow up at the time is because we’re all mothers now. It’s hard for mothers to step forward and come out like that.”
Actress Seo Ye-ji replaced from ISLAND post Scandal
According to Korean newspaper Korea Joongang Daily, actress Seo Ye-ji will be replaced in her upcoming drama Island. The production team behind the drama said they had no choice but to replace her due to the amount of negative publicity she has recently been associated with. Several brands that she modeled for have also removed her image.
Kim, who recently starred in the successful drama Mr. Queen dropped out of Time reportedly for health reasons, citing an eating disorder, and did not work again for almost a year. His agency, ON Entertainment, did not consider his non-employed time as fulfilling his contract.
Subsequently released private texts between Kim and Seo Ye-ji suggested that his reasons for dropping out of the drama may have been more complex. The private texts were released by the Korean newspaper Dispatch.
Proof of Scandal Released in the Press
Text messages allegedly between Seo and Kim, which entertainment news portal Dispatch released on Monday, show her demanding that he act hostile to other women, as well as send her videos of himself on set so that she could monitor him. On April 13, Seo’s agency refuted all these accusations in a statement, saying, “Regarding the suspicions of school violence that were additionally raised, we inform you that they are completely false.”
Another accusation involves Seo’s educational background. During an appearance on the variety TV show Knowing Bros in March 2017, she shared her experiences in Madrid, Spain, where she said she studied abroad for three years. She replied “yes” when one of the hosts directly asked, “Did you go to the university there to study?”
And in an interview with TV Daily in 2014, she said she “wanted to become a news anchor and decided to study abroad in Spain, as studying Spanish is interesting”. In another interview with IZE magazine the same year, she even talked about racial discrimination she experienced from her professors in Spain. She then openly contradicted her own statements in an interview with Woman Sense in 2017, saying that she couldn’t understand why people were making up rumours … referring to comments about her studying in Spain. “I have never been to university in Spain and never even dreamt of becoming a news anchor”, she said simply.