Naeun and Jinsol of South Korean girl group APRIL have personally responded to the bullying claims made by former member Lee Hyunjoo.
On June 11, member Naeun shared a post on APRIL’s official fan cafe to address the allegations that the group had mistreated Lee. “The biggest reason that I didn’t share my statement was because I trusted that our agency would respond on APRIL’s behalf,” she wrote, as per Soompi’s translation.
“I felt that it wasn’t appropriate for us to give individual responses on behalf of the team, and I still believe this. However, there are a lot of people who are believing things that aren’t true, so I thought that it was my responsibility to protect fans from this false speculation,” Naeun explained.
“I didn’t want to bring up every little thing that’s been addressed, but I did want to say one thing: This has never happened and it is not true,” she said, personally denying all allegations of bullying. Naeun later added that all she has done is “work hard and endure to achieve [her] dream.”
Later that same day, member Jinsol also posted her statement on Instagram, alongside a picture of an old birthday card former member Lee Hyunjoo had written to her. In the letter, Lee had congratulated and praised Jinsol for her hard work, per Soompi.
“I want to apologise for causing concern to so many people through this controversy,” Jinsol wrote in the post’s caption.
In her post, Jinsol reflected on the time the group spent with Lee, stating that the former member “often wasn’t around” when APRIL were preparing for their debut. “Most of the time, we would only see her when we had an officially scheduled event,” she said. Jinsol cited this as the reason that she did not have the opportunity to get close to Lee.
“Despite this, we tried our best to get to know each other,” Jinsol continued. “There were definitely times when we took care of each other.” She also denied having acted maliciously towards Lee: “During the time that we lived together, and up to this present moment, I have never harboured malicious thoughts or feelings toward her or acted maliciously toward her in any way.”
APRIL were faced with the bullying accusations earlier this February, after an individual claiming to be the brother of former member Lee Hyunjoo alleged that Lee had been bullied and ostracised by the members of APRIL. DSP Media has since denied all allegations and announced that it will be taking legal action against Lee and her family.
Earlier in March, Naeun was cut from the drama series Taxi Driver after the accusations surfaced. While the production company did not give a reason for the idol’s departure from the drama, the company noted that it had to “reflect on public opinion” before making the decision.