Seoul — It’s Okay To Not Be Okay actress Seo Yea-ji has released a statement about allegedly manipulating her then-boyfriend Kim Jung-hyun while he was filming the 2018 drama Time opposite another actress.
Meanwhile, Kim Jung-hyun has apologised on social media for his behaviour on the set of Time and is reportedly suffering from mental health issues.
On Tuesday (April 13), Seo Yea-ji’s management agency said: “After checking with Kim Jung-hyun’s representatives, we received clear confirmation that the controversy regarding the drama did not occur because of Seo Yea-ji and he expressed his intent to release his own statement regarding this.”
The issue started on Monday when media outlet Dispatch published text messages that it claimed were between the two actors, who met on the set of 2018 movie Stay With Me. According to the messages, Seo, 31, had asked Kim to remove all “kinship” (intimate, non-sexual touching) scenes and act stern to the female staff on the set of Time. Kim, 31, was also asked to send Seo videos from the set for her to monitor his actions.
Seo’s agency denies the claims. “Logically speaking, it is difficult to accept the controversial report that a drama’s leading actor would act exactly as someone else told him to against his own free will.”
It framed the messages as a lovers’ tiff and said crucial bits had been left out, such as Kim’s requests to Seo, who was shooting a different drama, to not film kiss scenes.
“So Seo Yea-ji also told him, ‘Then you shouldn’t do it either’,” said Seo’s agency.
It added: “This can be seen as a common lovers’ quarrel between actors who are dating.”
A day later on Wednesday, Kim posted a handwritten apology on social media.
“The drama Time was the first work in which I played the lead role, so it was also a very meaningful project to me. But I brought deep disappointment and pain upon the director, screenwriter, fellow actors and staff. I apologise,” he wrote.
It was claimed that Kim requested many script changes to avoid touching his co-star Seohyun, citing an eating disorder, and eventually dropped out of the drama. According to The Straits Times, The actor took a break for a year before returning to appear in the 2019 hit drama Crash Landing On You.
However, his lengthy apology did not touch on whether his actions were directed by Seo and only said: “I brought the shameful incident upon myself due to personal issues. I was not able to fulfil my responsibility as the drama’s protagonist and an actor.”
Following his apology, it was revealed that his management agency was not responsible for it. According to entertainment outlet Allkpop on Wednesday, it was crafted by an unnamed public relations (PR) agency.
It quoted the PR agency as saying: “Kim Jung-hyun has been receiving treatment in hospital for depression and insomnia that have plagued him since the start of his career as an actor.”
Furthermore, it reported that Kim had been managing his mental health well until recent events took their toll. Kim is currently in a dispute with his management agency over the end date of his contract. He is also reportedly being taken care of by his family. /TISGFollow us on Social Media
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