Who was Jung Joong-ji? Controversial 'Produce 101' trainee dies by suicide

Ever since he appeared on Season 2 of Mnet's 'Produce 101', Jung Joong-ji had been embroiled in multiple controversies including sexual assault

Who was Jung Joong-ji? Controversial 'Produce 101' trainee dies by suicide
Mnet 'Produce 101' trainee - Jung Joong-ji's mother announces his death by suicide (Mnet, @myson012/Twitter)
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Trigger Warning: Mentions of Suicide and Sexual Assault

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA: K-pop idols are seldom plagued with controversies but sometimes, there are trainees or idols who are embroiled in scandals that end up ruining their careers altogether. So is the case for Mnet's survival show, 'Produce 101' season 2 contestant, Jung Joong-ji (Jung-ji). After a (now-deleted) Twitter post made by his mother went viral, fans learned that the controversial trainee had taken his own life days after his 30th birthday.

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On September 19, Joong-ji's mother took to Twitter under the account, @myson12 to report that the trainee had died by suicide. The caption to the post read, "Hello. I'm Jung Joong-ji's mother. It's sad to say this, but my son has taken his life." She added, "I can't put into words how I feel right now." According to the post, Jung Joong-ji died on September 9.

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Alleged mother of Produce 101 trainee Jung Joong-ji takes to Twitter to inform fans about his death by suicide (@myson012/Instagram)
The alleged mother of Produce 101 trainee Jung Joong-ji takes to Twitter to inform fans about his death by suicide (@myson012/Instagram)

Who is Produce 101's Jung Joong-ji?

The 'Produce 101' trainee was plagued with controversy and had reportedly released a suicidal message back in 2017 when he was first embroiled in a sexual assault controversy. Back in 2017, when Joong-ji was set to appear on the Mnet survival show. Then, one of his acquaintances alleged that Jung Joong-ji had touched her inappropriately while the two were at a movie theater. Not only that but, Joong-ji then blamed his agency for making up the weird sexual assault rumor as part of noise marketing. However, his former label denied the allegations. Later that same year, Jung Joong-ji alleged that he was being bullied by Wanna One's Yoon Ji-sung during the 'Produce 101' show.

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'He didn't deserve this'

Fans who heard about Jung Joong-ji's passing now, years after the controversy share their condolences to his family in the hope that he rests in peace. One fan said, "This must serve as a lesson to everyone who are but a stranger to any artists. Anything you say has consequences as you do not know what they are going through. You have your opinion that can ruin someone, keep it to yourself. Stop dragging someone else." Another fan responded, "A while ago, he said his own agency was the one that started his SA rumours and I’m sure since it came from his company ppl believed it without fact checking and he probably had no support and it lead to this, so sad."

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One more fan said, "It’s always until someone takes their life before everyone realize they have been suffering. Every time a rumor comes out no one does anything to find out if they are true or not but netizens will start attacking them without proof or investigation. Till it becomes a pattern." One more fan said, "Just wish peace for his family. My he rest in peace. He didn't deserve this may he finally be put to rest." One fan said, "I am sad of he suicide. However , when PD ended , he became a actor and sign up with other companies (KEYEAST), yes , he did end up in a good company. I don't know why he committed suicide, but the rumors from five years ago and he was had new life for long time." Another fan responded, "People don't just forget these types of rumors. Imagine working and people avoiding you, giving u looks of disgust. I can just imagine how alone he was."

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This article contains remarks made on the Internet by individual people and organizations. MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support claims or opinions being made online.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). 

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