A post written by a netizen claiming to be the younger brother of former APRIL member Hyunjoo has sparked controversy, as he claimed that Hyunjoo left the group due to bullying within the team.
An anonymous post made online claimed that Hyunjoo was bullied by the other members, which ultimately resulted in her decision to leave the group.
Hello, I am the younger brother former APRIL member, Lee Hyunjoo.
I’ve always wanted to reveal the truth for years, but I held it back for Hyunjoo’s future. But now, I think I have to be brave and speak up, so I am writing this post.
My sister is known to have left APRIL to focus on her acting career, but that is not true. She was severely harassed and bullied in the group, and suffered from panic attacks and breathing difficulties. Eventually, she even tried to take her own life.
Thinking back to those times, both our parents and I still feel like our hearts are going to be ripped apart.
After Hyunjoo decided to leave APRIL, the company gave her a letter that explained that she was leaving in order to pursue acting and told her to write a letter with its contents. And my sister followed their orders.
Our family didn’t know at that time. Everyone thought it was the best thing to do for my sister.
However, after writing the letter, my sister was portrayed as a person who betrayed her team for her own benefit, and became a victim of severe malicious comments. She didn’t get any apologies from the APRIL members. Instead, some members of the group even laughed when they saw our mother visiting the agency.
Even today, Hyunjoo is working hard in her profession. So I was holding back, just in case it would hurt her image. I’m telling you all of this because I can’t watch the members, who are living well, continue on as if they did nothing wrong.
Even though I’m having a hard time, I’m even more upset and angry when I think about how my sister must have felt.
I don’t want to see them promote anymore. I hope they stop appearing on television and reminding my family about that time. I don’t want to see my sister having a hard time anymore.
— Netizen claiming to be Hyunjoo’s brother
In response to the netizen’s claims, APRIL’s agency DSP Media denied the accusations and released a lengthy explanation of various incidences regarding APRIL and Lee Hyunjoo.
Hyunjoo debuted with APRIL in 2015 as part of the group’s debut lineup, however, she decided to leave the group in October 2016 after taking a hiatus for health reasons. In 2018, she returned as an idol, participating in KBS2‘s Idol Rebooting Show The Unit, and making it into the final lineup of UNI.T. She promoted with the group for five months until UNI.T’s disbandment in October 2018.