Late K-pop star Goo Hara's ex-boyfriend Choi Jung Bum to stand trial in May for assaulting her
The Seoul Central Court has announced that Choi Jung Bum’s first appeal trial would take place on May 21. The former South Korean international footballer has been in the midst of a bitter legal battle, after he was found guilty of physical assault, threatening behavior and the use of unnecessary force as well as property damages, but not found guilty of sexual assault against late K-pop star Goo Hara.
In 2018, Goo Hara, a member of the disbanded girl group ‘Kara’ filed a lawsuit against her ex-boyfriend after he allegedly threatened to release a private video of the couple.
Choi had reportedly approached several media outlets with claims of possessing a video that would “end” Hara’s career. Although he did not leak the video, he was sentenced for a suspended jail term by a lower court for various crimes such as property damages, physical assault, and threatening, but was found not guilty of sexual assault by illegally filming the couple having sex. Choi was sentenced to three years of probation with one year and six months of prison time if probation was broken, reported AllKpop.
In South Korea, women are under immense pressure to not report any sexual crime committed against them. Since Hara defied them by reporting it and going to a trial for it, she received a lot of backlash and criticism from the media. She had to put her career on hold, and her contract from her management agency in Korea. In May 2019, Hara was found unconscious at her home after she attempted to commit suicide.
Although Hara survived her first suicide attempt, she succumbed to her second. In November 2018, the 28-year-old singer was found dead at her Seoul home by her housekeeper. The singer’s death left fans fuming with rage and demanding that Choi be punished more severely for his crimes against Hara.
News of Hara’s suicide came just a month after her close friend and fellow K-pop star Sulli committed suicide in October 2019. The 25-year-old singer/actress committed suicide as a result of cyber-bullying. At that time, Hara took to her Instagram to post a heartfelt message while grieving the loss of her dear friend.