On October 15, SM Entertainment released an official statement confirming that they've filed lawsuits against malicious comments targeting the agency's trainee, Yoo Ji Min.
Previously, rumors claiming that Yoo Ji Min mocked various SM Entertainment artists by criticizing their outer appearances and talents were spread widely via various Korean online communities.
According to SME's statement on this day,
"Hello, this is SM Entertainment.
Recently, malicious rumors involving our agency trainee Yoo Ji Min are being spread recklessly online. Despite the fact that these malicious rumors were falsely fabricated, engaging in actions such as spreading rumors, reposting, and attacking our trainee with comments of criticism is a severe defamation of an upcoming new artist's character, in addition to inflicting severe damages on the individual's personality.
Our agency plans on beginning legal action by filming civil and criminal lawsuits against all illegal acts which defame our trainee's character, in order to protect our artists' honor.
As of October 14, 2020, we have hired a legal representative of Kim & Jang Legal Office, and we have filed lawsuits against several accounts of malicious online activities with the Gangnam Police Department.
We notify that we will continue to take strict action against those who engage in spreading false rumors, fabricating malicious rumors, etc.
We have consistently monitored online portals and taken necessary legal action in order to protect our label's artists, and vow to protect our artists and trainees against all illegal activities. Thank you."
Meanwhile, many industry insiders expect SM Entertainment to debut their rookie girl group in 2021.