Nam Joohyuk bullying row: Dispatch reveals 20 former students and teachers defend actor
Classmates claim that the second accuser had shared incidents instigated by an actual school bully 'P', who had also verbally abused Nam Joo-hyuk
Things are starting to look up for actor Nam Joo-hyuk after he was accused by two alleged classmates that he had been a school bully who had physically and mentally abused them. The ‘Twenty-Five Twenty-One’ star’s agency SOOP had denied both allegations and was in the midst of suing the first accuser. With school bullying in South Korea being extremely violent, the general public tends to drop celebrities even on the slightest of rumors and no evidence, and the same went for Nam Joo-hyuk.
People have also been speaking up on his behalf. We first had a 2021 letter where a former classmate had written unprovoked that he had remembered the kindness of Nam Joo-hyuk. He had added that he had found the actor endearing as Joo-hyuk slept in class and did not get good grades as he was in the basketball team. A third alleged classmate popped up after the second accusation and claimed that the second alleged victim was distorting the truth. And now, Korean media outlet Dispatch has taken it upon themselves to unearth more evidence in favor of the actor.
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20 classmates and teachers defend Nam Joo-hyuk
Dispatch spoke to 20 former classmates and teachers who all defended Nam Joo-hyuk and cited that he had been a kind student. The outlet shared that if bullying had taken place, there would have been records by the School Violence Committee or hospital records for physical or mental treatment. They also pointed out that the first accuser had changed his statement by claiming that he was not the victim but a friend of the alleged victim. They spoke to 18 classmates who were with Nam Joo-hyuk from 10th to 12 grade, seniors and two homeroom teachers.
Not part of a bullying gang
Four classmates pointed out that the first accusation that Nam Joo-hyuk was part of a gang was false as students with similar interests like sports in his case simply hung out together. Three other classmates added that their school had severe punishment police at that time and “There was never the idea that there was a group of bullies at school.”
Two seniors even revealed their identities as they shared that they had nothing to hide, “Nam Joo-hyuk was not part of [a bullying] group.” The second senior shared, “Nam Joo-hyuk is not the type of person that will harass others. He liked sports. Nam Joo-hyuk would even laugh when his friends teased and joked around with him. He has a good personality, that’s right. That’s why his friends liked him.”
No such thing as bread shuttle
Another classmate voiced the same sentiments as the writer of the 2021 letter by stating Nam Joo-hyuk liked basketball, slept a lot in class and the teachers trusted him. In fact, his 10th-grade teacher revealed that he would mediate and be the one to calm the class down if there was any fight. Two classmates who had been with Joo-hyuk in 11th and 12th also disproved the bread shuttle (forcing one student to buy bread for the group) while another said he would in fact go buy bread with Nam Joo-hyuk.
A senior also corroborated by adding that he would often see the actor at the snack bar enjoying bread. One classmate felt the second accuser had twisted the truth as they would sometimes request classmates heading to the snack bar to buy a thing or two and that Joo-hyuk also often got bread for others.
Four former students shared the same thing that no one was forced to spar and the boys simply pretended to play wrestling games as WWE was popular back then. Two seniors also added that the one huge fight that did happen was also between two different students ‘P’ and ‘R’ and Nam Joo-hyuk was not involved. As for Joo-hyuk forcing the accuser to pay using his smartphone, the students all agreed that it had happened but the bully had been ‘P’ who had even stolen a teacher’s phone once which the third classmate had revealed in his claims.
‘P’ in fact had also verbally abused Nam Joo-hyuk. A teacher and another classmate also shared that they had to turn in their phones in the morning. For the last claim where Joo-hyuk cut in line during the break, the students added that no one was kicked out of line but they used to be in a rush. Finally, both teachers ended the interview by adding that they were confident that while he did sleep in class and did not get good grades, the actor was not a bully nor part of any gang.
Knetizens are divided
Some Knetizens are torn as there were pictures of a minor Nam Joo-hyuk with alcohol bottles hinting at underaged drinking which they felt was evidence that he was a bully. But most netizens now believe him, "20 people including teachers and some school colleagues who reveal their real names have given out their statements. Isn't this trustworthy enough?" Another Knetz commented, "It's not easy to decide to reveal your name in this kind of statement these days. Doesn't this mean that we can trust him?" One added, "You can't accuse someone of being a bully just because they drink. Me and my friends would secretly drink too when we were in high schoolㅋㅋㅋ." Another found the irony, "It's funny how people believe a post written by an anonymous in Pann, but not thisㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ."
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