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SM steps up action against violations of NCT members' privacy

By Choi Ji-won

Published : March 6, 2023 - 17:19

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Boy band NCT member Haechan (SM Entertainment) Boy band NCT member Haechan (SM Entertainment)

SM Entertainment has openly slammed stalking fans who invade the privacy of NCT members and has warned of strict legal action against them.

SM Entertainment on Monday afternoon released a press statement through which it disclosed aggressive acts of the intrusion of its artist's privacy and warned of "zero tolerance" against such behavior.

"Cases of the violation of the privacy of NCT members have been increasing recently," SM said.

The agency directly lashed out at "sasaeng fans" -- a term combining the Korean word for one's private life and "fan" -- referring to fans who obsessively follow and stalk their stars, frequently breaching their privacy.

"In November, there was even a case of breaking and entering by a 'sasaeng' (fan) infringing on the privacy of member Haechan. Haechan lives with his family, and this case has inflicted considerable mental damage on not only Haechan but his family members as well," the statement said.

SM said it has taken legal action and filed charges against the trespasser at the prosecutor's office.

"The person has not been punished according to Haechan's wishes. However we have decided to disclose the matter in order to reveal the severity of such invasions of artists' privacy and to warn against any similar problems from happening," SM stated.

SM revealed that NCT members have been suffering from great distress due to the continued acts of harassment by such obsessive fans.

Such acts revealed in the statement include intruding into the spaces that the members visit personally on a daily basis, tracking down the members' vehicles, reaching out to the members through personal information acquired through unlawful means and spreading false and malicious rumors.

The agency clarified that such behaviors are "illegal acts of stalking" that can be punished through legal means.

"We must reiterate that such behavior does not reflect on the artist but rather are stalking crimes that invoke fear and inflict great damage not just to the artist but to their family members and other people around them," it said.

"From now on, we will handle all such illegal activities under a zero tolerance policy, and will take a strict legal action against them through all possible means that the company can make," SM warned.