APRIL was recently accused of bullying their former member, Lee Hyunjoo, which ultimately ended in her withdrawal from the group. Her younger brother brought up the initial claims, which were soon refuted by both member Yena‘s sister and former DSP Media boy group member, Yoonyoung from A-JAX. The company has also clarified specific incidents mentioned in the accusations, denying any claims of bullying, and asked the public to refrain from spreading rumors.
As the story continues to develop, the netizen claiming to be Hyunjoo’s younger brother once again stepped up with an update to the ongoing allegations. He decided to address the issue once more after reading DSP Media’s statements and the fact that their parents have been receiving malicious messages. In an attempt to lend credence to his identity as Hyunjoo’s brother, the OP attached an undisclosed selfie with her, as well as her medical report.
He began by rebutting the claims of Hyunjoo wishing to be an actress rather than an idol. He alleges that Hyunjoo had wanted to be an idol from the beginning but wanted to avoid debuting with APRIL due to bullying.
The company claims that while my noona wanted to be an actress, she was placed in the team after their persuasion. However, my noona had been undergoing training to be an idol. She was made an outcast right before her debut, so she believed she could not debut with this team. She told the company her thoughts on the matter, multiple times. But the company persuaded her time and time again to take a few days off to think about it.
— Hyunjoo’s brother
The OP claimed that Hyunjoo would return to the team each time, hoping that the bullying she was experiencing would abate. She would even practice dancing alone in her room so that she wouldn’t cause hardship for the group. In the end, Hyunjoo’s brother claims, her convictions about not becoming an idol were reinforced by her experiences. “It was not only due to the fact that she wanted to be an actress that she said she didn’t want to (be an idol) but also because of the bullying,” wrote Hyunjoo’s brother.
He also rebutted the claim that she wasn’t able to participate in activities diligently due to a lack of physical and mental strength.
She returned in hopes that the bullying issue would get better but that didn’t happen. Rather, it became worse than before. She believed she couldn’t take back her decision [about ultimately joining] and continued to hope that things will get better, so she took it upon herself to bear the situation. As a result, her body was unable to take it any longer.
— Hyunjoo’s brother
In fact, he claimed, Hyunjoo’s health had deteriorated to the point where she was occasionally unable to even make it home from her obligations as an idol and suffered spells of unconsciousness.
During schedules, practices, and on her way to and from the company, there were many instances where she fainted. The members and manager knew she was sick, but didn’t bring her to the hospital immediately. They left her (laying) there. Ultimately, noona experienced much pain and difficulty breathing and tried to recover while attending various hospitals.
I remember that they didn’t let her take her medicines properly because it caused her to become drowsy, and it would get in the way of their promotional activities and practices.
— Hyunjoo’s brother
He firmly denied the company’s statement that the situation at hand called for no perpetrators or victims. He also refuted the company’s claim that Hyunjoo was removed from the group due to her wishes. Instead, the hospital had advised that continuing with APRIL would cause further harm to Hyunjoo. The company allegedly gave her an ultimatum: participate in APRIL’s activities or be removed from the group. The company also allegedly denied her request to simply take a rest for a few months.
According to the post, Hyunjoo became a victim of bullying after she stood by another person who was being bullied at the company. He also spoke on the “tumbler incident,” ridiculing the company’s explanation that there were 40 to 50 tumblers in the kitchen. He also claimed Hyunjoo was scolded, instead, for leaving the tumbler in the company fridge for too long, as her name was on it.
He addressed the shoe issue as well.
It is true that the company gave the members sneakers as gifts. The members got a pair each, with a total of 6 pairs. The member involved in the situation had a different design from my noona. As the member had the same size, noona waited for the other member to choose first and then took the pair that was remaining.
However, from some point in time, that member kept wearing my noona‘s shoes and when noona asked her about it, she said she bought it herself. After checking that [noona’s] name was written on it, the member threw the shoes and told her to take them.
— Hyunjoo’s alleged brother
Lastly, the medical record attached to the post stated that Lee Hyunjoo was admitted to the hospital on May 10, 2016, 11:38pm KST. The cause of admission was drug intoxication, commonly caused by overdose. Hyunjoo had been missing during music broadcasts twice, dated May 12 and 13, following this incident.
He refrained from commenting on issues at broadcasting stations or the staff as he was not there nor told of what happened. He also appealed to others, asking them to stop causing greater hurt to his sister. Once again, he made an appeal for a formal apology from the company.
DSP Media has announced that they will be taking legal action against Lee Hyunjoo and her family.