On July 1, it was reported that Choi Jong Beom had lost his second trial in his lawsuit against malicious commenters. According to the Seoul Central District Court, the judge ruled against Choi Jong Beom in a claim for damages that he filed.
Choi Jong Beom had previously sued 9 netizens for defamation of character. He claimed they were responsible for leaving “malicious comments pertaining to his identity” on different online platforms. These malicious comments that Choi Jong Beom began to receive followed the tragic passing of his ex-girlfriend and former KARA member, Goo Hara.
Netizens believe that he was responsible for her shocking suicide death, as he had previously threatened her with an alleged sex tape when their relationship went awry. This became an even bigger legal issue when it was further revealed by Goo Hara’s side that the tape had been filmed illegally without her consent.
And while Choi Jong Beom received a one year prison sentence, the court ruled that he was still considered “innocent” due to the fact that him and Goo Hara were in a relationship at the time of the incident.
Following what netizens believed was a “light sentence” and Goo Hara’s tragic death, Choi Jong Beom became the target of endless malicious comments from netizens, who firmly continue to believe his direct involvement in Goo Hara’s death. After receiving scrutiny from the public, Choi Jong Beom filed a lawsuit in March of this year for “defamation of character.”
At the previous March trial, he partially won the case against one of the netizens, where they were ordered to pay Choi Jong Beom ₩300,000 KRW (about $265 USD). However, at his most recent trial, the judge declared that “while the comments against Mr. Choi can be evaluated as socially inappropriate or undesirable, it is difficult to view them as an illegal act that defames Mr. Choi’s character.”