South Korean actor Kim Dong-hee has issued an apology after admitting to bullying allegations earlier this week.
In 2021, an anonymous netizen known as ‘K’ had accused the Extracurricular actor of being a bully during his elementary and middle school days. Kim and his agency had initially denied the allegations, and his legal representatives stated that that there was “no clear evidence” to substantiate the netizen’s claims.
However, according to a notice from the Suwon District Prosecutor’s Office, dated November 30, 2021, as obtained by Sports Kyunghang on January 12, charges Kim had filed against ‘K’ for defamation over the allegations were being dropped due to “a lack of evidence”.
The same document also revealed that the actor had confessed to some of the claims that had been made against him. “[Kim] admitted that he bullied defendant ‘K’ during his fifth year in elementary school using verbal attacks; however, the plaintiff denied K’s claims that he threatened K with scissors or a box cutter,” read the notice.
The actor has since issued an apology via his agency, Npio Entertainment, calling the incident a “squabble among friends”. His statement, per Korea JoongAng Daily read: “I want to sincerely apologise to the friend who was hurt because of me, and I also deeply repent and sincerely apologise to all who were wounded due to my immature words and actions.”
“I argued with a classmate in the classroom when I was in 5th grade and we fought and were scolded by our teacher,” Kim added. “After my mother heard this news, she harshly scolded me and we went together to the friend’s home. We personally apologised to him and his mother.”
The actor also shared that he had continued to spend time with the alleged victim after he had apologised, which led him to believe that the incident was “behind them”. Kim added that while he had wanted to apologise to his former classmates when the allegations first surfaced in 2021, he was afraid that it would “further instigate controversy”.