[TW/CW: Mentions of bullying, suicide, and self-harm]
On Feb. 28, an anonymous user in an online community claimed that he is the brother of former APRIL member Hyunjoo and stated that the reason why the singer left the group is that she was being bullied by her fellow APRIL members.
And now, the girl group's management agency, DSP Media, has responded to the bullying rumors.
Alleged Brother of Hyunjoo Claims His Sister was Bullied by her fellow APRIL Members
In a particular online community site, a netizen made a post in which he claimed that he is a younger brother of former APRIL member Hyunjoo and that the singer left the group because the other ladies harassed and bullied her. She allegedly experienced too much mistreatment that she once decided to take her own life.
The alleged brother of Hyunjoo also said that the agency asked her to say that she withdrew from the girl group to pursue an acting career when that was not the real reason. The other APRIL members never made an apology to Hyunjoo, as stated in the post.
RELATED: User Claiming to be Former APRIL Hyunjoo's Brother Alleges She Was Bullied in the Group + Label Investigating the Facts
Former APRIL member Hyunjoo debuted in August 2015 and went on hiatus in 2016 to focus on her health, and by October of the same year, she announced that she will be leaving the group to be an actress, as well as to prioritize her health. Also in 2016, she made her acting debut in the television series "Momin's Room."
DSP Media Responds to Bullying Rumors about Hyunjoo and the APRIL Members
After the post went viral, APRIL's management label DSP Media has since started the investigation to verify the facts. And now, the agency has released an official statement about the matter.
The company first detailed why former APRIL member Hyunjoo decided to leave the group. They explained that Lee Hyunjoo initially joined DSP Media to pursue an acting career. But through persuasion and after discussions with her and her family, Lee agreed to be part of the girl group.
However, after APRIL's debut was confirmed, Hyunjoo was unable to take part in the team's activities due to physical and psychological problems, and had faced hardships. The Korean label went on to share that Lee was not the only one who suffered at that time, but as well as the other members. And since the whole group had gone through difficulties, the company "cannot come to a definite judgment as to who is the victim and the perpetrator by the situation at that time."
DSP Media further stated that Lee Hyunjoo eventually decided to leave APRIL during the "Tinkerbell" promotions. And although they tried to persuade her, they ultimately respected her decision.
Following her departure, both Hyunjoo and the APRIL members had a hard time. The label then said that they have been supportive of the former APRIL member in her acting career as well as in singing, even after she left the team.
The agency concluded that both Lee Hyunjoo and the APRIL members can all face damages due to unverified assumptions, and so they appeal for everyone to stop creating and expounding the bullying rumors.
What are your thoughts about the situation? Tell us in the comments.
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Written by Mhaliya Scott