As of February 19, actor Jo Byung Kyu is now dealing a third case of an anonymous netizen stepping forward to accuse him of being a bully in school.
Previously, an anonymous netizens stepped up and accused Jo Byung Kyu of being a bully during his high school days, when he attended school in New Zealand. However, since then, HB Entertainment has confirmed in an official statement that this netizen has apologized for the accusation post online, and Jo Byung Kyu has decided to forgive them, with no legal charges being pressed.
Then, another anonymous netizen accused Jo Byung Kyu of being a bully during his elementary school days. This netizen claimed that they were in touch with a group of other former elementary school classmates who were "bullied" and "targeted". In response, Jo Byung Kyu's label has moved forward with legal action against the accuser, and it seems that the legal procedure is in progress.
On February 19, a third netizen came forward, also from Jo Byung Kyu's Westlake Boys High School in New Zealand. This netizen, who created an anonymous SNS account to raise his allegations, claimed that Jo Byung Kyu was a popular student with connections to tough kids from various schools. Afterward, the netizen also revealed that he was receiving messages from Jo Byung Kyu's legal representative, "threatening" them that such SNS activities were illegal and they would be facing severe consequences.
Some time later on February 19, HB Entertainment issued a second official announcement, warning that they will not be forgiving any more defamatory posts online, instead responding with strong legal action.
At the same time, many fans also demanded that the third netizen provide evidence that he actually attended school with Jo Byung Kyu. The netizen has since posted some of the following photos:
At this point, many netizens who seemed initially skeptical of earlier bullying accusations have started turning their backs on Jo Byung Kyu. Several of them have pointed out that rather than attempting to explain his side of the story, Jo Byung Kyu's side has reacted rather aggressively. Some are now demanding that Jo Byung Kyu leave his upcoming KBS2 variety program with Yoo Jae Suk, 'Come Back Home'.
"Whether it's true or not, the agency is not doing the job it's supposed to be doing. The agency is really the one turning Jo Byung Kyu into a villain character."
"If you're really innocent, you should be able to say exactly that you're innocent. Don't just threaten people with money and power."
"He's so active on SNS, and yet nothing lately on all this stuff..."
"Why can't they just make a clear statement, saying that he didn't do it?"
"Explain yourself properly, or you're done for."
"If I think about all those times when he acted so nice on TV... does he not have any sense of guilt..."
"The tides are turning against you..."
"At this point, more of his friends should be speaking up saying it's not true... but... don't see much of that going on."
"I can't stand the fact that a lot of celebrities get away with this kind of stuff by paying big law firms to shut victims up."
"Can you just apologize to the victims already.
And more. Meanwhile, the issue of school bullying is considered a very heavy topic in South Korea, where one of the highest causes of death in young teens is suicide caused by being victimized in school.