Back in July, Heechul garnered attention from both the public and the press as he was seen personally submitting formal lawsuits against malicious commenters at the Gangnam Police Station, accompanied by his legal representative. Afterward, Heechul took part in an honest interview where he explained his intentions in pursuing legal action. Look back on Heechul's interview below.
Q: What kind of malicious comments did you file lawsuits against?
A: "There are so many severely explicit comments, it's difficult to explain them clearly. There are some straightforward ones like 'I want to kill you' and 'You're s***', as well as a lot of comments bordering on sexual harassment. They use names of deceased presidents, names of female celebrities I'm close with, and use severe, derogatory slang terms to leave explicit comments that I don't ever want to say aloud. The comments referencing my close acquaintances who have passed away are particularly severe in degree."
Q: How many malicious commenters are you taking action against?
A: "For now, there are nearly a hundred whom I needed to respond to with strong legal action immediately. We have gathered over 10,000 files of evidence, and we did not have enough time to organize them all. We will continue to sue hundreds and thousands more."
Q: What were some of your impressions regarding malicious comments in the past?
A: "Ever since I became a celebrity, there have been countless malicious comments. Up until now, I've lived thinking that it can't be helped because I'm a public figure, and just went, 'I won't look at any of them'. I thought that it was freedom of speech and expression. But recently, so many younger friends have gone through difficult struggles right near me, and I felt, 'I can't just sit and watch'. Nowadays, it's not just celebrities who are having a hard time with malicious comments, it's everyone."
Q: You received a lot of help with this lawsuit process?
A: "If I look through and sort out every single one of my malicious comments, my mentality would literally break down. It would be like hearing 'Kim Heechul, go die' over a hundred times a day. So I created an email address dedicated to receiving reports of malicious activity in April. The fans have since sent me over 100,000 reports. At first, my legal team didn't want me to look through any of them because they were worried about me."
Q: Reactions from your fellow celebrities?
A: "Everyone is supporting me. People like IU and Kim Ga Yeon have given me public advice. I especially remember some encouraging messages from my hoobaes. 'We are still rookies, so we don't know how to react [to malicious comments]. Oppa or hyung, we really hope you win against them.'"
Q: Final words you would like to say to malicious commenters.
A: "I don't want to explain every detail of my private life to you. You are not worth it. I want to see if you're capable of acting the way you do when you sit in front of your computer and keyboard, at the police station in front of the officers. You've done damage to countless people and made them shed tears, and so you will pay the consequences."
Netizens left supportive comments toward Heechul while waiting on more updates from the idol and his legal team, such as, "I'm cheering you on! Please win against them", "This is so refreshing", "So much respect, Heenim! Fighting", "I'm cheering you on! I wish all senseless hate and criticism would disappear from our society", "I'm sincerely rooting for you Heechul, and I hope you're always happy!", "Yes, give those malicious commenters what they deserve!", "Sincerely hoping for the best results TT", "You're the best Heechul!", "You're doing such a good deed, I'm cheering you on!", and more.