Former T-ARA Member Ryu Hwayoung recently spoke up about the controversial bullying scandal that took place five years ago. Despite the tabloids running headlines on the scandal, there was not any official statement from her that directly addressed the rumors. While fans were able to hear from Hwayoung on Tuesday finally, a former T-ARA staff member who worked with her during the time of controversy came out to air his side of the story as well.
The Infamous Scandal of Hwayoung
The Kpop girl group T-ARA was at the height of their career and enjoying their popularity in Korea, Japan, and the rest of Asia. To change things up, their company decided to add two new members Hwayoung and Areum. At first it seemed like the group was getting along quite well, but then a bullying scandal broke out on social media. Based on the posts, fans were pointing fingers at the pioneer members bullying the new additions of the group.
In 2012, T-ARA announced that Hwayoung is leaving the girl group. “In deference to the complaints by T-ara’s staff of 19 people (5 stylists, 7 hair & makeup, 5 on-site managers, 2 team managers), Hwayoung’s contract as an artist will be voided effective immediately with no conditions,” the group said in an official statement at the time. Along the course of this whole incident, Hwayoung cried bullying behind her departure from the group.
On February 8, Hwayoung finally aired her side. In an interview with a local Korean TV show, she said that she was disappointed with what happened in the past. “When I think about it now, it’s something that could easily happen in a group of women…I cried a lot shut up in my room. I also lost a lot of weight,” she added. If what she said is anything to draw conclusions from, she hinted about everyone being against her. However, a day after her interview, a former staff member posted in one Korean chat rooms and revealed his side of the story.
Message Evidence of Hwayoung’s Alleged True Intentions
According to Allkpop, the former T-ARA staff posted in parts what really transpired that brought the management to allow Hwayoung’s departure from the group. According to Soompi, the online account of the former staff member revealed a lot of things that the public did not have access to. Judging by the strong comments in the thread, the leg injury Hwayoung sustained back in July 23, 2012 seemed to be the strongest factor that inflame the controversy. The former T-ARA member twisted her foot while she was running back to the dressing room after a show. She got it checked in a hospital with her manager and the doctors confirmed that nothing was wrong. This was what really happened according to the former staff.
However, when she got picked up from her house after a day before a concert, she was already wearing a cast. This only made things more difficult for the rest of the group members and more than 80 staff. What was supposed to be a concert for eight members ended up being a concert for seven members instead. Thus, over 8 hours were needed to adjust the blocking, lighting, stage directions, and the like. Hwayoung only performed one song and sat the rest of the concert out. It was also around this time that the other members expressed their disappointment on their social media.
While some speculate that this may be just some gossip that the former T-ARA staff is spreading, the group’s manager stepped forward to support the information. The manager said that this was something everyone in the company knew but have kept mum about. Even, T-ARA’s agency confirmed that it was a past issue and decline to comment further.