The Korea Herald


[Newsmaker] Seo Yea-ji stares down controversy yet again

By Lim Jang-won

Published : April 14, 2021 - 14:36

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Seo Yea-ji (CJ Entertainment) Seo Yea-ji (CJ Entertainment)
Controversy surrounding actor Seo Yea-ji has continued to mount, as more allegations of bullying have surfaced, despite denials from her agency in an official statement.

An alleged staffer that used to work with the actress posted on an online portal early Wednesday morning that Seo had regularly mistreated her staff members in her agency, Gold Medalist.

“As a staff member going around in the same car with her for several years, verbal abuse was nothing. She smoked in the car, so I suffered from secondhand smoke. Also, she made me buy cigarettes and would scold me for a small mistake while blowing smoke in my face,” the post read.

Seo was accused of regularly checking the staffer’s phone and making threats, among other abusive conduct toward the employee.

The revelation is the latest in a string of controversies surrounding the actor.

Local media outlet Dispatch revealed Sunday that Seo, known for her lead role in the TV drama “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay,” had reportedly “controlled” her former boyfriend and actor Kim Jung-hyun when he was shooting the series “Time” with Seohyun in 2018.

Dispatch revealed alleged text messages between the former couple that claimed that Seo requested Kim have no physical contact with female actors in the drama, despite the romantic plot line.

Kim was said to have made sure he avoided physical contact with Seohyun while filming, and he eventually stepped down from his lead role midway through production, citing health concerns.

In an official statement, Gold Medalist admitted that the two had dated, but denied that Seo was the reason for Kim leaving the drama production.

“It is hard to comprehend that a lead role actor acts without his will because someone told him to,” the agency said.

Regarding claims that Seo ordered Kim to stay away from intimate scenes, the agency said, “These sorts of disputes over being affectionate are common among actor couples. But all actors go into shooting without regard for it. Kim Jung-hyun must have had a different personal issue.”

The agency also denied allegations that Seo was a bully in school and that she had forged her educational background. The agency said in the statement that she had been accepted to a college in Madrid, but did not follow through with her degree because she started acting.

Seo did not attend the press conference Tuesday for the movie “Recalled,” in which she plays the lead female role, set to hit theaters next week.

By Lim Jang-won (