Choi Yena‘s agency has officially denied the ongoing rumors involving the former IZ*ONE member and a CJ Group chairman.
On December 1, Yuehua Entertainment announced their position regarding Choi Yena’s ongoing allegations through their official website. Yuehua Entertainment stated that they are “aware of the false information, malicious accusations, and slanderous posts that are being distributed online.”
Previously, SBS News reported that conglomerate Lee Jae Hwan was being accused of sponsoring a former female idol, Ms. A. In the report, screenshot photos of text message conversations between CJ Group’s CEO, Lee Jae Hwan, and Ms. A were released to the public. According to the photos, Lee Jae Hwan specifically requested for the CEO to take care of Ms. A’s music and YouTube activities.
Sponsorships within the Korean entertainment industry typically involve a wealthy counterpart who uses their wealth to “buy” a celebrity’s popularity. While it can be an innocent way of someone helping out, they usually expect sexual favors in return for their financial contribution. And because prostitution is illegal in South Korea, sponsorships are frowned upon and often done in secret.
While no names were mentioned in the initial report, netizens pointed out Choi Yena as Ms. A due to her numerous fixed appearances in variety programs. Following her IZ*ONE debut in 2018, Choi Yena secured fixed appearances on Prison Life of Fools, Girls High School Mystery Class, Idol Dictation Contest, Fireworks Handsome, Game Of Blood, and more in just a few years.
The competitive K-Pop industry makes it difficult for idols, especially rookie idols, to land even one fixed cast appearance—which may be the reason why Korean netizens were quick to name Choi Yena as Ms. A.
However, as the rumors began to make headlines, Yuehua Entertainment firmly dismissed the allegations while emphasizing their decision to “take strong legal action against the malicious posts” in an effort to protect their artist.
You can read Yuehua Entertainment’s full statement down below.
Hello, this is Yuehua Entertainment.
Firstly, we would like to express our gratitude to all the fans who cherish and love Yuehua Entertainment’s artists.
We are aware of the false information, malicious accusations, and slanderous posts that are being distributed on different online communities and social media sites.
We will be taking strong legal action against the malicious posts to protect the rights and interests of our artists. We plan on responding without any leniency or agreement in the process.
We will continue to do our best to protect our artists through the reports sent in by fans regarding malicious rumors and slander. We will continue to monitor to the best of our ability.
— Yuehua Entertainment