Nam Joo Hyuk’s agency has released a new statement following a third round of school violence allegations against the actor, this time with alleged evidence of bullying and sexual harassment.
Last month, a person who claimed to have been bullied by Nam Joo Hyuk (hereinafter referred to as “the first prosecutor”) during her school days gave an interview to a news outlet about his alleged experience. Nam Joo Hyuk’s agency Management SOOP firmly denied the allegations and announced a few days later that it had taken legal action against the reporter, the first accuser and the publication in which the interview was first published.
The following week, a second person (hereinafter referred to as “the Second Accuser”) came forward and claimed to have been the victim of school violence at the hands of the actor and his friends during high school, and stated that they decided to speak out after seeing Nam Joo Hyuk’s agency suing the first accuser and denying her claims. Management SOOP also rejected this second round of allegations.
On July 6, another news outlet reported that it had received evidence from a third accuser — this time a woman — that Nam Joo Hyuk and his friends bullied and sexually harassed her during her senior year of high school.
The third accuser provided text messages from a KakaoTalk group chat dated May 10, 2012, claiming that she was forcibly invited into the group chat and bullied against her will simply because one of Nam Joo Hyuk’s friends disliked her. In a form of cyberbullying known in Korea as “KakaoTalk prison,” Nam Joo Hyuk and his friends reportedly took turns sending her hateful messages, including sexual harassment, comments disparaging her appearance, and sexual slurs.
The news agency explained that Nam Joo Hyuk did not create the group chat, the text messages showed that he personally insulted the third prosecutor and participated in the conversation.
The third accuser revealed that she had reported the incident to the school at the time and the perpetrator’s punishment was community service within the school. She also explained that the perpetrators only apologized at the time when they were forced to do so by their teacher. However, according to the third prosecutor, the perpetrators recently tried to apologize to her 10 years after the incident when she went to tell her story.
Later that evening, Management SOOP released an official statement addressing both the new report and previous allegations by the first two accusers.
While Nam Joo Hyuk’s agency confirmed that the third prosecutor’s text messages were genuine, they claimed that the messages were just an out-of-context fragment of a larger picture. The agency also confirmed that, as the third accuser had claimed, the incident ended with an apology at the school. However, they denied that Nam Joo Hyuk had recently tried to apologize to her.
Management SOOP explained its decision not to provide any further explanation or context for the text messages, stating, “The things that happened in the KakaoTalk group chat are very complicated and an extremely personal matter for the people in the chat. As mentioned in the article itself, this is also an incident that ended with an apology at school. As such, we don’t think it’s right to reveal the full story through the media at this time.”
Management SOOP also reiterated its position that the second accuser’s second anonymous report last month was untrue and again announced that they would take legal action against both the first and second accusers.
The agency’s full statement reads as follows:
We are making a statement regarding the article about Nam Joo Hyuk.
Firstly, regarding the content of the recent second anonymous report, we have verified the truth from multiple angles through a number of channels, including of course the actor himself. We reiterate that we have unequivocally confirmed that the second prosecutor’s allegations are untrue.
Next, today’s article about the messages sent in the KakaoTalk group chat did not reveal the full story of the situation at the time, and it only provided an excerpt of a fragment of the scene, without any context or explanation of what happened before and after [those messages]. In addition, it is completely wrong that the actor tried to apologize to the informant.
The things that happened in the KakaoTalk group chat are very complicated and extremely personal to the people in the chat. As mentioned in the article itself, this is also an incident that ended with an apology at school. As such, we don’t think it’s right to reveal the full story through the media at this time. The correctness of this aspect is also clearly confirmed during the court proceedings. Furthermore, we express our deep regrets to the news agency that published the report unilaterally without asking us for the truth.
We request. Even though the accusers’ claims, which are hiding behind the anonymity, have not been carefully fact-checked and there is no clear evidence, these claims are exposed in the media as if they were true and people currently believe them to be true. No matter how much our agency and the actor retaliate by claiming that they are not true because this malicious content has already been reported as true, it is very difficult to refute the claims and prove one’s innocence. Even if his innocence is later revealed through a criminal case, it will be impossible to undo this current reality and, of course, that means tremendous suffering for the actor.
Because of this, our agency has determined that we have no choice but to respond decisively to both the first and second accusers to protect our actor’s reputation, and we plan to quickly file lawsuits against them. We also inform you that we intend to take strong and decisive legal action against creators or news outlets who spread unverified and unsubstantiated claims or rumors.
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Top Photo Credit: Xportsnews
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