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Ailee's Ex-Boyfriend Daniel Lee And His Job At Allkpop Parent Company Left Out Of Radiolab Podcast On Her 2013 Nude Photo Scandal

By Jesse Lent | February 25, 2016 07:22 PM EST


It was the story that shook Hallyu culture down to its foundations.

Back in 2013, 6Theory Media Vice President of Content Eun Duk "Daniel" Lee, the ex-boyfriend of K-pop superstar Ailee, reportedly attempted to sell nude photos of the vocalist to the South Korean tabloid Dispatch. When the images appeared shortly thereafter on the Korean entertainment news site allkpop, fans were furious.

"It was our Watergate," Soompi editor AJ Park told the nationally broadcast WNYC program Radiolab, in a piece released on Wednesday. "It was our K-popgate. It changed everything."

But it was the revelation that Lee's company 6Theory Media owns allkpop that really threw fuel on the flame for many fans.

Though any reference to Ailee's ex by name or his connection to allkpop was conspicuously left out of the Radiolab report, which examined the recent rise of paparazzi in Korea. The significance of the beloved radio show and podcast, revered for it's in-depth and outside-the-box reporting, omitting such critical details wasn't lost on Beyond Hallyu editor Lizzie Parker.

In a seething op-ed published on the UK-based K-pop-themed website on Wednesday, Paker, who declined to be interviewed for this article, laid into Radiolab for presenting an incomplete view of the story.

"It's weird that this podcast never mentioned that he was Ailee's ex-boyfriend," Parker wrote. "It's weird that they never mentioned that he admitted to trying to sell Dispatch the photos (even if he says he did not leak them to allkpop)."

Though Lee appeared to admit in an on-air phone call to the Seoul Broadcasting System program "One Night of TV Entertainment" that he did in fact inquire about selling the nude photos to Dispatch, he claimed he was actually trying to help Ailee she was allegedly tricked into posing nude for what she was told was a modeling audition.

"Because we had a tip from people with that kind of goal [to sell Ailee's nude photos to the tabloid] in mind, I just really wanted to see if it was possible and I innocently asked. I had no other intention," Lee said in the 2013 interview.

The allkpop executive maintains he did not provide his employers with the revealing images.

"A misunderstanding happened and I can only say sorry about it," Lee said. "But what I want to say is that I did not leak the photos."

For an allkpop reader commenting in a 2013 forum on the website under the name Krevice, Lee's admission provoked more questions than answers.

"I too wonder about...this latest news that Daniel Lee made that phone call to Dispatch News, faking an offer of the Ailee nude pics for money," Krevice wrote in a forum post on the website from shortly after the incident.

"I wonder if anyone working at allkpop knew that Daniel Lee was going to make that phone call?  Were there any discussions between allkpop employees as to whether this was an okay idea prior to Daniel Lee doing that?"

The user has since been banned from commenting on the allkpop website, but the questions Krevice raised did receive a response from a commenter named Ace, claiming to be a former allkpop moderator.

"From what I been told by ex-allkpop staff is that allkpop has not lied regarding being the leaker," Ace wrote. "They also have evidence for all of their claims. It was a dumb move by Daniel though to test [the evidence] out. However, everyone makes mistakes."

Following the incident, 6Theory rushed to issue a statement asserting Lee's innocence, asserting that it whomever posted the X-rated images had been using a Canadian IP address and that Ailee's record label YMC Entertainment was unfairly jumping to conclusions when they accused the site of misconduct.

"For full disclosure, our employee, Daniel Lee did date Ailee in the past, however he did not post the photos in question," the statement read. "Not knowing whom the true culprit was, YMC turned the blame to the easiest target.

According to the court of public opinion though, it wasn't enough according to the Radiolab piece, entitled "K-poparazzi."

"Really, their reputation just tanks. It was a warning to them [from K-pop fans] 'don't mess with us.'" Park said in the podcast, regarding allkpop's backlash for publishing the nude photos of Ailee. "I mean I haven't really followed them in a while, but they haven't recovered since then."

For Beyond Hallyu's editor, the irony of having Park comment on the legitimacy of her biggest competitor as a US-based Korean entertainment site that generated the Radiolab report's largest credibility gap.

"The most unbelievable moment was when a considerable chunk of the story about the backlash against allkpop was told by the editor of Soompi, as if she had no stake in sharing the story of the site's supposed downfall," Parker wrote.

"And the most frustrating part is it's not true. As much as I hate to say it, allkpop has mostly recovered."

Allkpop is currently the fourth result that appears in a Google search of the term "kpop."

Radiolab's producers and allkpop's editorial staff could not immediately be reached for comment.

Tagged :  Ailee, Ailee nude photos, allkpop, allkpop nude photo scandal, K-Pop, kpop, Radiolab


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