Where Is Actress Shim Eun Woo Now? Her Latest Instagram Update Has K-Drama Fans Divided

In March 2021, Shim Eun Woo was accused of having bullied her classmate back in middle school.

In March 2021, The World of The Married star Shim Eun Woo (also known as Sim Eun Woo) was accused of having bullied her classmate back in middle school.

Actress Shim Eun Woo | @sim.eunwoo/Instagram

Following the tell-all post on Nate Pann singling her out, Shim shared via a since-deleted Instagram post that she apologized to the victim in person, though she at first “couldn’t clearly understand what happened between [herself] and the victim.”

I found out that the immature words and actions I made against my friend during my school days left a deep scar on them, something they shouldn’t have to have suffered through during their adolescence. I realized that the words and actions I made without any thought when I was young could remain a long-lasting wound to the other person. I thought deeply about my past actions and present self. And I sincerely apologized to them.

In the future, I will constantly look back on myself and try to live as a better person, so I don’t hurt others. I am sorry to have caused concern.

Lastly, I would like to sincerely apologize to the people who have become involved in this and my fellow actors who have been inconvenienced by this incident.

— Shim Eun Woo, 2021

Since then, the actress disappeared from the screens and remained low profile—while her K-Drama Fly High Butterfly was aired in Taiwan in 2022 after getting put on an indefinite hold in Korea.

The cast of “Fly High Butterfly” with Shim Eun Woo in red plaid. | fgblog.fashionguide.com.tw

Shim resumed posting on Instagram in September 2021. By December, Shim announced that she had launched a YouTube channel for yoga. With comments addressing her as “sunsaengnim,” it was assumed that she has begun working as a yoga instructor.

| @sim.eunwoo/Instagram

In April 2022, Shim opened Gwasuwon Yoga studio in Seoul and frequented charitable donations to help animal welfare causes.

Shim Eun Woo as a yoga instructor. | @gwasuwonyoga/Instagram

Shim’s October 2022 update hinted that she has picked up on acting again—though on stage and not for television. In the following months, she promoted her thriller K-Movie Seire and made it known that she’s working toward a return to the entertainment world.

Then, in her most recent update, Shim confronted the malicious DMs and comments that she still receives “two years since.” A screenshot, shared via Shim, captured an Instagram user harassing the actress through her studio’s official Instagram account.

Aggressive DM sent to Shim Eun Woo. | @sim.eunwoo/Instagram

You b*tch… You’re the reason a K-Drama starring huge names got canceled. Yet, here you are. Carrying on with your life so carefree… You’re such a c*nt to the core. I bet you go around spreading your legs for anyone anywhere. This wh*re…

— DM from @songj_ien/Instagram

Aggressive comments left for Shim Eun Woo. | @sim.eunwoo/Instagram
  • “I’m coming to sign up for your yoga classes!”
  • “I think you mean that she’s a sl*t.”
  • “You don’t want to deal with the negativity, huh? You’re f*cking hideous. ‘Precious day,’ my a*s. LMAO. Your days are hell fire.”

Her two-part post detailed her 2021 scandal…

Hello. Today, I’m going to talk about something that is incredibly difficult for me to bring up… I have no idea what this is going to do to my future, but I figure it’s going to make things even more complicated for me.

Here goes. It has been two years since I’ve been labeled the ‘school bully’ and the ‘bully actress.’ Ever since The Glory aired in January, I’ve been given yet another label of ‘Yeon Jin Jr.’ too.

But because I wasn’t the most popular actress, some people have simply never heard about what happened…

In March 2021, I was accused of having bullied a classmate in school. I apologized to them soon after. The victim accused me of leading a group of classmates to outcast them in 7th grade, 17 years ago. They said that after they got into a fight with me and my friends, I cursed them out every chance I got. They also said that I made them lose a close friend by turning the friend against them. I, as a popular bully at school, made it impossible for them to take the bus, and so their parents had to drop them off and pick them up from school for two years. According to them, I scared them so much they couldn’t enter the classrooms, couldn’t eat the school lunches, and couldn’t go to after school academies. And eventually, they transferred schools in 9th grade. They said that they had to transfer schools a couple more times after and it was generally a tough time for their family. In conclusion, the victim said that they decided to reveal what I had done to them because they still go to therapy but can’t get over the past. I was asked for a sincere apology.

— Shim Eun Woo

…and how Shim’s approach to the said victim of her actions “backfired.”

Here’s what happened after I saw the online post, before March 20 when I apologized publicly.

When I first read the post, I had no idea who wrote it. Through a mutual friend, I was able to hear about the person who posted the accusation. As soon as I was made aware of who the victim was, I had zero hesitation. I asked around for their contact information and was able to connect with their older sister. I spoke to their older sister over the phone.

I wanted to talk to the victim because they said I’d hurt them so much that they’re still in pain. I didn’t want to disregard the post or deny the points made in their accusation. I believed it would be best for me to listen to what they had to say, so I did not hold back getting in touch with them. But this backfired and they got upset with me instead. They claimed that I ‘should have sued them if I, in fact, didn’t remember ever bullying them.’ The phone call with their older sister went something like this: I apologized for not being able to remember, and I explained that I’d like to talk to the victim to hear out what I’d done. I said that I’d like to apologize had I really hurt them. But the older sister told me that they didn’t want to talk to me or sit down with me in person.

The next day after I spoke to the older sister over the phone, I saw a flood of articles about my bullying allegation all over the internet. I still had not been able to talk to the victim, though. And my management at the time said that I shouldn’t admit to anything and deny the accusation if I really did not remember what exactly happened. And this led to a back-and-forth of ‘who is telling the truth?’

— Shim Eun Woo

Shim also clarified that while she did apologize to the victim and the public, she—to this point in time—has been unable to communicate with the victim and scope what she had done.

At the time, I was six months into shooting the K-Drama Fly High Butterfly. I was terrified because the whole production team was being impacted because of me. The pressure was suffocating me, with people focusing on ‘Did you or did you not bully the victim?’ And I really thought things through and through, over and over again.

The show was about people practicing self love through reflecting on their past and focusing on their present. I wasn’t sure if I was the right fit for the show, especially since I got myself into an endless fight about the truth. But I decided that, regardless of my intentions, if I had truly caused pain, then I should apologize.

The production team was supportive of me apologizing to the victim and resolving the issue. Instead of dropping me from the show, which the team could have done to a scandalous cast, the team chose to keep me on board. The producer even drove to Donghae to visit the victim’s parents and apologized to them for me. Because the victim didn’t want to see me, the producer and the management met up with the victim’s older sister to apologize. I apologized through a sincere, public letter on Instagram.

But this all became me admitting to having bullied the victim.

— Shim Eun Woo

Pleading that she would like to “have [her] life back,” Shim showed hope to return to acting—though she ended the post warning that legal action would be taken to those who continue to be malicious toward her.

A still from “The Glory” featuring characters Dong Eun and Yeon Jin. | Netflix

After that, I spent time looking back at the life I led. I wasn’t the best student in school. Had I been a good student, I wouldn’t have gotten involved in a scandal like this in the first place. To be totally transparent, I was a greedy, selfish, and jealous 7th grader who wanted to be at the center of attention. I was immature and I lacked in so many ways.

But I still have no exact memory of why I got into a fight with the victim who wasn’t even in the same homeroom class with me. I don’t know who my alleged ‘group of friends’ are, but I can’t ask the victim. I can’t ask why I became the reason they were scared of entering the classroom when I was never in the same class with them. In fact, in 8th grade, I fell out of the circle I used to hang out with and so I made new friends. Was I really the one who led the bullying up to the point they transferred schools in 9th grade, or could it have been one of the people that I used to hang out with? How come none of my actual friends—the new ones I made in 8th grade—remember us interacting with the victim at all…?

I don’t remember harassing anyone on the bus, but the victim remembers it being me. Am I being targeted because in the victim’s memories, I’m the one who allegedly led the bullying? How come, through the years of being dropped off at school and eventually transferring schools, did their parents never reach out to mine? My parents never owned a fried chicken restaurant… What other memories are inaccurate like this? But I don’t get to know the answers to any of these questions.

After watching a musical in 8th grade, I started pursuing my newfound dream. So after school, I kept myself busy, practicing singing. I had no reason to pick on a single friend all those years. So this is all very frustrating to me. Regardless, I don’t want to deny anything. If at any point in time, I was present in the victim’s life as someone doing harm, then I should be sorry. I apologized for this and meant it. I still mean it.

But it breaks my heart because people think I’ve been a school bully throughout my teenage years. I’m heartbroken that I’m being compared to someone as cruel as The Glory‘s Yeon Jin. I, too, believe school bullying should not be excused. I believe that bullies like the ones in The Glory should be punished.

I tried to live my life to the fullest—especially once I started dreaming of becoming an actress. I worked hard, as we all do. But all my hard work is tainted because of an anonymous post on the internet. I’ve been forced to ‘reflect on my actions’ for all these years when I have no idea who’s to judge me. I’m no longer offered roles for acting. Instead, I get attacked each day by people whose faces I’ve never seen.

All of the malicious comments and negative posts about me… I tried to accept as a part of the career that I chose. I tried quitting Instagram and deleting comments that hurt me. I’ve been enduring it like so all along. But now, I’ll be taking legal action against such things. I won’t be overlooking them because I, too, have parents and relatives.

I thought about whether or not I should post this for a long time. I’m scared that once this goes live, I’ll be dragged down another long tunnel. I’m scared that I might not be able to ever return to acting… I’m terrified.

And I apologize again to the Fly High Butterfly production team. There are no words I could use to express how sorry I am to the scriptwriter, director, cast, and staff of the show… I’m really sorry. I just want to have my life back. And I’m truly sorry if I’ve ever hurt anyone else in any way because I’m simply never enough…

— Shim Eun Woo

Following the emotional uploads, Koreans voiced divided opinions. While some acknowledged the possibilities of Shim having been accused in unfairness, others expressed adamant criticism at the actress for being “shameless” about her actions.

| theqoo
  • “I see how the original post could feel inaccurate to her. Memories can get mixed up over time. I think it’d be best for Shim and the OP to meet up in person and sort things out.”
  • “How come bullies can NEVER remember what happened? LMAO. Like, hear me out. If one has never bullied another person, EVER, then it’d be as simple as, ‘I have never done such thing.’ No?”
  • “Huh.”
  • “The victim wanted apologies but there are gaps in the victim’s and the actress’s memories. I would assume it is important for both parties to get to the bottom of this scandal… So I think it’d be best for the two to sit down in person and talk through their pasts together.”
| theqoo
  • “At the time, there were witnesses who shared accounts of what happened. The stories were too detailed to be fake. I don’t believe that she’s not a perpetrator. Also, it is common for victims to have errors in their memories because there is trauma involved. Victims could have tried to get rid of their memories because of depression or whatever. There is a decade of time between when it happened and when the scandal broke. It’s normal for the victim to be confused.”
  • “I feel bad for the actress, TBH. I think anyone who wants to bring justice to their bullies by calling them out on the internet should be ready to face their bullies in person and answer questions. Even if they’re victims. They can’t hide and avoid confrontation forever. I think this goes for not only school bullying scandals but for all kinds of conflicts.”
  • “The actress apologized for the scandal and it has been years since. I don’t think she should be uploading posts on Instagram if she’s truly resentful. She could sue the victim for defamation and take them to court. The law could help them get to the bottom of who’s telling the truth and whatnot. I feel like that would be the much easier resolution.”

In utmost agreement, though, Koreans advocated for the end of online harassment toward celebrities—regardless of scandals—and insisted that malicious comments are criminal on their own and should be prosecuted.

| theqoo
  • “I can’t believe people are making the effort to harass her on Instagram via DMs… She’s not even a celeb now. Just trying to make a living.”
  • “This is complicated… But all things aside, I don’t think people should be DMing her malicious things. They’re not being righteous or whatever. They’re bullying her all the same. I hate disgraceful and dumb people like them.”
  • “Even if the truth ends up revealing the actress as the perpetrator, who are these strangers on the internet to harass her like this? She’s not even promoting as an actress now. People need to understand that cyberbullying is criminal on its own.”
Source: theqoo