Twins former T-ara Hwayoung and former 5Dolls Hyoyoung did a broadcast interview which provoked a lengthy tell-all response from a former CCM staffer on the real story behind T-ara’s infamous 2012 “bullying” scandal.
Though most of the outline of the story is stuff we’ve heard before, the bombshell new detail, with screenshot evidence, is that on Hwayoung’s behalf Hyoyoung threatened to beat the crap out of T-ara’s now former member Ahreum:
Hyoyoung: “Areum, it’s Hyoyoung.”
Areum: “Hi (Hyoyoung) unni! ^^”
Hyoyoung: “Areum, when someone takes care of you, you say ‘thank you’ and be grateful. If you don’t want to take a beating, get it together. Rumors in the industry spread fast. And don’t go blabbing. Be classy ^^. I’m really mad right, now, so let’s not run into each other?
“If there’s something that I’ve misunderstood, do you want to meet and talk, or do you want to apologize now?”
Areum: “I’m not sure what you’re talking about exactly, but I’d like to meet and talk. Unni (Hyoyoung), I haven’t done anything so bad as to be hearing this from you.”
Hyoyoung: “Babe, you should just go.
“Let’s give you a beating at ‘Music Bank.’ There will be dust everywhere.
“I’ll scratch up your face so you can’t be on TV.
“Hahaha just wait~ ^^
“I’m not going to be a singer haha so you wait ^^ Dogs need to be hit to come to their senses.
“Stupid bitch. Show up in front of me, we’ll see what happens.”
“Okay, you’re doing a gre~~~at job tattling.”
–Now, here’s an extraordinary piece of synchronicity. Yesterday I had a T-ara dream, which I hadn’t had in a very long time. We were at my elementary school, and T-ara were going from classroom to classroom looking for somebody. In my real life, there were a couple of extra buildings apart from the main building, used as classrooms, in between which was the athletic field, and Hyomin was knocking on the door of one of these and looking inside, scanning for whoever it was they were looking for. Boram too was going inside (the better to mingle in which the students and not look like a grownup?) but wearing what I thought was a somewhat serious expression.
This dream ended with T-ara getting in a black van and, apparently having forgotten whatever use I may have had in this search (and it doesn’t seem I was very useful) were leaving without me while I, bogging down by rain and mud, was doing one of those dreamtime slo-mo walks that isn’t getting me anywhere. I wasn’t sure if T-ara had truly forgotten me or if they had just not noticed I wasn’t on the van. Or maybe I wasn’t supposed to be going with them– maybe we were just going to meet again later, or perhaps after all we were never supposed to meet again at all? It’s confusing, but in the dream while I was somewhat agitated I was trying to keep hope up. To have been a part of T-ara’s crew, even if only for a few minutes (and it seemed at first as if there were some important purpose in what we were all looking for and that my being a part of it meant that I was a person of some interest to them) was bliss, and now I must bear up in non-needy fashion, try and get ouf of the mud, and see what happens.
But the synchronicity! I get up and suddenly T-ara is all over the K-pop news again! And, omg, were they looking for Hyoyoung or Hwayoung to beat them up?!? lozlz omg
Anyway Ahreum has broken radio silence to confirm the validity of the chat snapshot, so there’s that. Will native Korean teenyboppers (who I guess were all ten when the “scandal” broke) finally forgive T-ara since it was the Ryu sisters who were threatening to beat somebody up?
[UPDATE:] Ahreum has made a new post, in which she attempts to, er, clarify? what she posted before. Let’s dig in:
“Why would you post a scary report like this.. After leaving [T-ara] in 2013, I’ve quietly been walking my own path.. [What was brought up] had to be something that I just managed to forget.. [And it was posted] with the picture that I was told at the young age of 13 was strange..
“I don’t know if [the reporters] are trying to use me again, but, to the reporters [that wrote about me], this is going too far. I was trying to say sarcastically that you went too far when I said, ‘Thank you very much to the reporters that posted my picture.’ I apologize for causing a misunderstanding.
“When I said ‘Let’s definitely meet soon,’ what I meant by that was, ‘When I see that picture, it brings back memories that cause me pain the likes of which you can’t even begin to imagine, and I feel like I’m going to die, but you just had to. I don’t know if you were trying to use me, but I’m so mad I’m going to sue you, so let’s definitely meet in court.’ That’s what I meant.
“Even now, my family, friends, and fans that I’m so thankful for are all telling me it’ll be okay and that everything will turn out well, comforting me. Because of them, truly, tru—ly, I’m barely hanging on. Please, stop writing articles about it. Please don’t cut me off at the knees. Think of it as saving someone’s life, and please…… delete it.
“When I said, ‘I don’t know. If by any chance you are reading this message… be strong, reporter ^^,’ what I meant was, ‘It must be so hard for you to make your living by taking advantage of fragile people.’ And even though I said ‘Everyone, let’s be strong like nothing happened today,’ I cried so much I thought I would stop breathing… Even everyone’s messages of comfort are painful. But I wanted to think positively, so I tried wrapping up with ‘let’s be strong!
“Because I feel I made people come to irrelevant conclusions, this is going to be my last post about this until things die down. And I’ll accept and forgive everything, so.. please take down the reports that misunderstood what I said..”
[Ed.: Uh . . .] Whoo. Yeah, this lends further credence to the argument that maybe Ahreum was never ready for primetime to begin with.
In the comments at soompi, Bobfish writes:
Areum has been through a lot, anyone who follows on her social these last few years will know that she has a habit of just spilling out everything in her head. I think most would call her troubled, but I also think she is a little eccentric or erratic.
It is possible that she was enjoying the attention again, but it wouldn’t surprise me if she was bipolar or something and now that attention is unwelcome. I just hope she doesn’t relapse from this, it was a good three years or so before the Areum we knew from T-ara reappeared on social, before that she was clearly not entirely sane.
–So it would seem. Actually, I don’t understand why Ahreum should be bothered personally by righting the record on Hwayoung’s mischiefs. Maybe Hyoyoung actually went and beat up Ahreum, who knows, or maybe Hwayoung focused her animosities within T-ara on Ahreum when Ahreum was training. That would make sense, since the two were only officially members together for a few weeks before Hwayoung was dismissed. But the public didn’t blame Ahreum for what was going wrong– it was the original six who took the fall. So Ahreum–assuming she enjoys a semblance of mental health– should be grateful for their sake that they can finally enjoy some vindication in the public’s eye. But obviously Ahreum is at any rate a somewhat erratic girl . . . .