A few weeks after the first allegations of school violence were made against actress Park Hye Soo, she took her Instagram to write her own side of the story. However, netizens mostly snorted at her statement, and A, the alleged victim (of Park Hye Soo’s school bullying), responded by posting a short message, “victim cosplay.”
On March 7, A posted two short messages on her Instagram Story: “makes my skin crawl” and “victim cosplay” (meaning “victim playing”). She also screen-captured a comment that reads, “I don’t agree with Park Hye Soo’s stance trying to position herself as a victim of school violence. If that was really true, she would have announced her position much earlier.”
This is an answer to Park Hye Soo’s statement on her Instagram, where she wrote herself to be the victim of the school bullying, not the perpetrator. She personally opened up about the ongoing issue for the first time and wrote, “Lies kept breeding more lies, and it was painful to watch a couple of pictures that are unrelated to the truth presented as proof, rendering false claims into prejudices that are hard for me to take down.”
Such statements are the complete opposite of what victims of Park Hye Soo’s alleged bullying have been claiming. A, who is a member of the group of the victims formed since the scandal, previously stated that she was beaten up by Park and her friends in the karaoke room for the first time, and for the second time at a store where Park slapped her repeatedly. The third time, she was called to a small playground located outside the apartment complex, where Park had her boyfriend beat A up because “her hand was hurting.”
The actress’s agency refuted all the claims saying that they were groundless rumors, but the situation only worsened when a netizen, who claimed herself to be another bully who was in the karaoke room, stepped up. Because of the controversy, Dear.M, starring Park Hye Soo, postponed its premiere date indefinitely.
The following is the statement released by Park Hye Soo:
“Hello, this is Park Hye Soo.
I’m sorry that it took me this long to open up. I kept writing and erasing the post I wrote numerous times. I stood by because I believed it would all pass since it was not true. But lies kept breeding more lies, and it was painful to watch a couple of pictures that were unrelated to the truth presented as proof, rendering false claims into prejudices that are hard for me to take down.
I know that many people have been waiting for me to share my side of the story. Nevertheless, I couldn’t step up for myself earlier because I believed my words would have no effect against the formed bias. I have finally decided to share this post only after seeing people would not accept the truth as the truth.
I have already experienced what it is like to have people judge you because of false rumors in the past. So I am well aware of how difficult it is to refute each countless lies.
I came back to Korea after a year of study abroad in the United States in 2008. We moved from our original neighborhood, and I started repeating my second year of middle school at a new and unfamiliar school in July 2009. Scary things that I’ve never experienced before started to happen as I went to school where I knew no one else.
False rumors about me started to spread rapidly, with a mixture of truths and malicious lies. The fact that I had moved from Gangbuk, I was a year older than my classmates, and I had studied abroad in the United States were the truths. But rumors such as I went to the United States for an abortion or that I had to repeat a class for my bad behavior in my old neighborhood, started to follow me as if those were true. Every morning I would wake up to texts with curses and sexual harassments, although I only shared my number with two to three people. I remember checking my phone as soon as I wake up with my racing heart and crying silently so that my parents wouldn’t notice.
It was a tough time for me, as I was an ordinary student loved by friends and teachers at my old school. It was agonizing for me to not know who to blame and why I, who had been happy at school, was subjected to this kind of treatment in a new neighborhood. It was hard to endure bullying that was happening for no reason, but I couldn’t let my parents know as they moved for the sake of my education, so I suffered alone.
The bullying became worse and worse. Things like flipping my lunch tray to stain my uniform and pushing me in the hallway, or curse out behind my back happened. I’d get pushed around at the third years’ hallway in front of many others watching just because they didn’t like how I looked. I was told ‘I just want to hit you,’ ‘I would beat you up even if you were in the third year.’
However, I could endure that situation because there were a few kind friends who reached out to me. I was able to make my school life better thanks to them, who saw and liked me for who I was regardless of rumors. But I had to go to therapy for 3 years because of unhealed wounds from the bullying. Regular therapy sessions helped me get over these scars, and I was able to set my head straight from self-hatred.
The alleged victim is the one who flipped my lunch tray and cussed when I first transferred. We became friends when we were in the third year. During the time that we were friends, and even up until this year after we had stopped talking to each other, I considered what happened between us to be a part of a childhood friendship. Taking this before the law is now inevitable, but it really pains me to think of how things have turned out between me and someone who was once my friend.
That person’s friends came to my Instagram account and left comments full of lies. Anonymous posts going around the Internet are also from screenshots taken from Instagram. These unverifiable stories are spreading online as if they were all true.
I want to ask the person who keeps spreading unreliable lies about me to ruin me- first on Instagram comments and subsequently in two interviews- that why you had to go this far and what you had to gain from this. Despite all these actions hoping me to shatter and fall, I will not be shaken, and I will reveal the truth no matter how long it takes.
The ‘victim group chat,’ where dozens of people have allegedly gathered, seems like a groundless lie just like the aforementioned stories. At the moment, it feels pointless to give a detailed rebuttal to every single rumor spreading about me, so we will take action from now on without waiting or negotiation.
Through this incident, I have faced my hurt younger self who had been hidden deep inside my mind. Hadn’t I had a job that puts me in the eye of the public, I might have also wanted to share my terrible memories with someone else. However, I would like to remind you that false accusations and rash criticisms resulting from those claims are also an assault on someone. I have detailed reports about past mistakes made by those claiming to be victims, but I do not want to make them public because I believe that is also a form of assault.
I am sincerely sorry to KBS and all the staff, cast, and crew of ‘Dear.M’, who are affected by my controversy.
I am also grateful to those who kept supporting me and cheering me on, although I couldn’t speak out sooner. Thanks to you, I examined the situation and prepared for the next steps despite the painful situation. Even if it takes a long time, I believe that the truth will slowly come to light, and all this shall too pass. I plead to see the truth as truth in the future. This was a very long post… Thank you for reading.”