Park Hye-soo's agency denies bullying accusations, former classmates fire back saying 'go ahead with lawsuit'
Another K-pop star being called out for abuse, Park Hye-soo recently made headlines for being accused of bullying in her past. Now, her former classmates are slamming the singer's agency Studio Santa Claus Entertainment for "a secondary offense against the victims" after their denial of the allegations.
Park Hye-soo is one of many South Korean celebrities who are facing such claims, all surfacing unexpectedly over the past week or two. HyunA, Seventeen's Mingyu, (G)I-DLE's Soojin, LOONA's Chuu, Stray Kids' Hyunjin, and even 'Itaewon Class' actor Kim Dong Hee, are all facing the same accusations: being a bully in school.
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Allegations against Park Hye-soo
On February 23, anonymous posts were made online accusing Park Hye-soo of being a perpetrator of school violence.
According to Soompi, one of the alleged victims claimed that "There were already a lot of accounts of Park Hye-soo’s school bullying on the Internet." They said, "I left a comment about the harm I suffered, and I thought my comment would get buried under everyone else’s. However, my comment was published in the media, and I was stunned since this is the first time something like this has happened to me. However, since it ended up like this I thought gathering the victims together and publicizing the matter would be the right thing to do.”
They went on to share details of their own bullying experience, saying, "The first time I was hit was when I was 16 and Park Hye-soo was 17. She framed me and gave me a bad reputation. Then she called me to karaoke where there around 10 other boys and girls and hit me. She told each of them to hit me once. Three of them, including Park Hye-soo, slapped me on the cheek. For the second round, she called me to a shopping complex and slapped my cheek several times. For the third round, she called me to a playground inside an apartment complex and hit me in front of over 20 people. It was raining a lot that day but she kept slapping me."
The alleged victim then cited having had her lips split open, bleeding and bruising on other areas of the body, and more details.
Studio Santa Claus' response
Park Hye-soo's label issued a statement of denial, following the allegations, stating that the alleged "association of victims" was seeking "monetary gain" from this incident, according to Allkpop. They say that they "firmly believe that the revelations regarding this matter are false, and we plan to secure evidence proving their falsehood and submit this evidence to the investigative authorities."
"We will be taking a zero-tolerance policy regarding this matter and will take an even more extensive and strong response by submitting more criminal complaints against thoughtless speculations and slander."
Former classmates demand apology
Now, a group of former middle school classmates has rallied together to request a sincere apology and refute the agency's comments. A representative of this group has come forward to address the agency's statement: "The 10+ members of the 'Victims of Park Hye-soo's Bullying Group' has not once demanded any form of monetary compensation from her or her agency." They noted, "All we wish for is her sincere apology."
They continued, "How can the agency outrightly deny the claims when there are so many different victims testifying against her? Once again, we swear that we have not asked any side for monetary compensation."
In closing, the representative expressed, "The fact that the agency openly called us 'people seeking monetary gain', instead of trying to formally apologize, is a clear secondary offense against the victims. They seem to be trying to cover up Park Hye-soo's past acts of school violence with underhanded media play..." adding, "We will be more than willing to cooperate with legal investigations, so go ahead with your lawsuit."