Following the recent Instagram update from the former member Lee Hyunjoo, regarding the team bullying allegation which was exposed in an online post by her younger brother back in February 2021, APRIL members Chaewon and Yena have taken to their own social media accounts to deny all the claims made in the update.
Chaewon claimed that the period of time between the team’s pre-debut to the former member’s withdrawal had been difficult for all members, not just the former member. She also firmly stated, “No part of the claims of bullying, outcasting, physically and verbally abusing, and harassing is true.”
Hello, this is APRIL’s Chaewon. First, I would like to apologize to the fans for making them worry about the number of rumors that have circulated. I’m sorry for having caused some concern.
I wanted everyone in APRIL to get along, as we gathered to move forward together toward a shared goal. I have never tried to turn members against each other in any way. After Somin unnie left the group, I became the oldest member in the team. So I tried to look after the members and stay reliable for everyone. In fact, I paid extra attention to Hyunjoo, who had both physical and mental vulnerabilities at the time.
Since pre-debut year of 2014 until after we debuted, everyone remained really close. My mom and Hyunjoo’s mom even kept in touch regularly back then. I have evidence to prove this. I can only hope that Hyunjoo remembers, but I also believe the truth will be revealed soon.
Also, the claims being made against our manager are extremely unfair and untrue. It is simply impossible for the manager to have so much influence over how the agency decides to handle things. Plus, the manager was super stressed over Hyunjoo at the time. I have evidence for this also.
We were all young when we debuted. We were all immature. So we did have a hard time dealing with the changes at hand. We did not make one person suffer it all. We suffered it together. And I do not want to be the target of any more hate because of unreasonable claims being made. No part of the claims of bullying, outcasting, physically and verbally abusing, and harassing is true.
I wanted to reveal what I know about the situation only in court. So even though I felt like things are super unfair, I tried not to speak on it. Plus, I knew I shouldn’t make rash decisions on my own so I waited. But I decided I can’t sit back and watch any more. I’m going to make sure that the truth and only the truth gets out. I appreciate those of you who are patiently waiting to hear the truth. Again, I feel terribly sorry that I have to put the fans through this. That is all, thank you.
In addition, Yena explained that it was actually the former member who “would always try to keep her distance from the rest of [APRIL].” Yena claimed the members eventually gave up trying to integrate the former member because she “always considered herself the victim, when everyone was facing the same difficulties,” and because she eventually called out the rest of the team to be “bullies.”
Hello, this is APRIL’s Yena. I would like to apologie first for having concerned so many people about this. I wanted to wait on sharing my statement because I wanted to deal with it in court. But I decided to upload here because I can no longer tolerate so many rumors being circulated.
The members all began training at different times. But we shared a single goal and we worked hard toward accomplishing it together. The team ‘APRIL’ had been that goal. And in the process, we all went through things we did not have to go through. We all felt exhausted at one point and we all wanted to give up too. But we really held on for seven years and we endured it all. We were so young though. We could have all whined about how rough things are. But we never did. Instead, we kept working on our parts, focusing on our positions in the team.
Looking back, we were babies. We barely knew how to take care of ourselves. But as a team, as a group to stay together through the ups and downs together, we always believed in not letting go. So we said if someone falls behind, we would reach our hands out and pull the person back up. And we really tried to do this in every way we can. No matter how bad things got, we remained respectful of one another. We made sacrifices. We looked after one another when one of us got sick. We celebrated our birthdays together… We did everything together as a group, like you would expect any team members to do.
But I honestly felt like the member in question would always try to keep her distance from the rest of us. She always considered herself the victim, when everyone was facing the same difficulties. She continued to point fingers at us, calling us bullies, even in situations that happened unexpectedly.
Eventually, we decided we can’t keep trying so hard if she isn’t going to trust us anyway. But it was us who had to deal with the anxiety and the fear of not knowing what is going to happen to us. Maybe we failed to take good care of a fellow member who was physically and mentally vulnerable. But for that to be entirely on us, I think it is terribly cruel.
It’s not like the other members always felt physically and mentally perfect. We’re all humans too. We have had our fair share of physical pain and heartbreaks too. We’ve been through such painful moments together that other people simply cannot fathom unless they’ve been there with us. Yet people keep talking like they know more about us than we ever could. They keep saying things happened a certain way, when they don’t know what actually went down.
Since the day the allegation broke, the rest of us are enduring all over again. How much longer will this pain continue? How many more times will we have to face situations like this? I really don’t think I can recover from the wounds that I’ve gained from this experience. I’m torn that our seven years together have become so tainted because of a rumor that is not true. I’m terrified that I’m a bully of a person whom I have never bullied. I’m scared how everyone is convinced that we did the things we did not do.
Again, there has never been any bullying or physical/verbal abusing in the team. We all went through the same difficulties. Please, I don’t want any more hate to reach the members and the fans. I know our families, fans, and friends have been more than supportive in trying to resolve this with us. I don’t want my loved ones to suffer any more. And to do that, I will pull through this and reveal the truth.
As Lee Hyunjoo’s claim greatly contradicts the APRIL members’ claims, the truth remains veiled. With DSP Media moving forward with the legal action taken against the former member, however, APRIL and Lee Hyunjoo fans can only hope that the investigation will soon reveal what really happened among the members.