Mamamoo‘s Wheein has been thrust into the spotlight of Korea’s growing #DebtToo movement, where idols’ families are being exposed for money crimes such as failure to pay back a loan on time or scamming.
On an online community, a user claimed Wheein’s father owed their father around 20 million KRW in 2016 and never paid it back. Due to the sudden stress caused by the missing money, the user’s father was diagnosed with stage 3 pancreatic cancer and ultimately passed away.
The user described how Wheein’s father would boast that his daughter is in a famous girl group, and would continuously push back the repayment date.
“The company Mamamoo Wheein’s father ran was a company that created and delivered things like containers, portable toilets, and caravans. My father operated a cargo transport agency that connected the carrier with buyer.
There was reluctance to accept a deferred payment because there was not very much trust between the two companies, but he consistently boasted about how his daughter is a girl group member and tried to put us at ease. We accepted the deferred payment but he kept on pushing the payment further and further back, continuing to delay the payment.
During that time, my father was receiving non stop urgent phone calls from the cargo drivers, so many to the point there was unbearable swearing and he couldn’t eat or sleep.
Due to the extreme stress, my father was diagnosed with stage 3 pancreatic cancer after visiting a hospital for stomach pains, when we have no family history of it.
My father would continue to visit the factory in Jeong-Eup even though his legs were so skinny and emaciated from the chemotherapy, to the point where he couldn’t stand, but he continued to delay the payment.
My father passed away one year ago…
It’s been over 3 years that we haven’t received the money.
He wrote in his will ‘Did we get the money from that company’ and I even used the money from his death insurance for legal expenses towards this case.
Our family was broken up just before our company declared bankruptcy and the brother of Wheein’s father is going around in a Mercedes.
They didn’t want to pay us back from the start. That man got a fake divorce and he has all his real estate, he’s sitting comfortably. If you search the company name, it’s even more ridiculous that the company and the website are running perfectly normally.
— Victim’s child
The victim also disclosed a document stating how Wheein’s father was required to pay back 17,729,000 won, with a 5% interest rate from December 22, 2016 to August 8, 2017. If the money was still not repaid, the interest rate would increase to 15%.
Wheein has responded to the incident, with Wheein revealing that her father has caused negligence and debts to her family in the past, but he is now separated from her family.
“I grew up without the care of my father. He was indifferent to the family and neglected his role as the head of a household. As a result, my family had always been subject to unexpected debts and other potentially dangerous situations.
Because of this, my parents divorced in 2012, but my mother had to live as a credit delinquent (bad credit) up until a few months ago. After the divorce, I lived separately from my father but my mother and I still had to deal with the damage caused from before the divorce.
When I last contacted my father a few years ago, I asked him not to hurt my mother or me anymore, and I would have liked it if he moved back and lived with us, but after that, there has been no more contact with him.
There has been no interaction between us for a few years now, and there has also been no contact.
Right now, I have no idea where my father is living, what he does, and how his life is.
I am embarrassed to hear about what happened but I will discuss the situation with my family and do my best to solve the situation in a peaceful manner.
Also, I am very sorry to my Mamamoo members.
Lastly, I apologize once again for what has happened.
This is now the 4th scandal involving idols in recent times, with Microdot/Sanchez, Dok2, and Rain all being hit with these scandals.