Legendary First-Generation Idol Faces Emotional Scars From Being Scammed By Someone He Trusted

He was gaslighted by them when he least expected it.

A member of the popular 2000s idol group Shinhwa recently revealed a painful story he hadn’t been able to share before.

Shinhwa members Shin Hye Sung, Lee Min Woo, Eric, Andy, Jun Jin, and Kim Dong Wan (left to right) | SM Entertainment

On October 16, Shinhwa member Lee Min Woo appeared on Channel A‘s variety show The Uninvited. In the episode, Lee Min Woo shared heartwarming stories of his life and behind-the-scenes stories he had never revealed before.

| Channel A

Lee Min Woo invited his close friends on the show, including Shinhwa’s Junjin, chef Lee Yeon Bok, and his older sister Lee Young Mi, creating a meaningful time to strengthen his friendship and loyalty with them.

Lee Young Mi, Lee Min Woo, Jun Jin, and Lee Yeon Bok (left to right) | Channel A

Among them, Lee Min Woo referred to Junjin as his “wife from a past life” and expressed his gratitude, saying, “We spent half of our lives together, experiencing joys and sorrows.”

Jun Jin (left) and Lee Min Woo (right) | @mstyle79/Instagram

However, not all his friendships were wonderful like it was with Junjin. Audiences were shocked when Lee Min Woo confessed about being gaslighted and swindled of his entire fortune by a friend of 20 years. Lee Min Woo explained that the scammer approached him during a difficult time of his life and systematically swindled him. The unnamed “friend” even threated Lee Min Woo’s family and his Shinhwa activities.


Lee Min Woo shared that this traumatic event heavily impacted him mentally and physically. He developed a speech impediment and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

I couldn’t breathe day by day. Cursing was a given. I started stuttering, and when I saw anyone who resembled that person, I hated it and got angry. I went to the Department of Neuropsychiatry and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder due to trauma. I wasn’t able to live my life because I was dominated by my mental health.

— Lee Min Woo

| Channel A

Despite the hardships, Lee Min Woo persevered with one thought on his mind.

I can’t give up here. I’m Lee Min Woo.

— Lee Min Woo

| @mstyle79/Instagram

Ultimately, he was able to move on from that experience and did not let the trauma affect his plans for the future. Lee Min Woo shared that he plans to engage in diverse musical activities in the future and contribute to mentoring junior idol groups based on his experiences.

Lee Min Woo (left) and BTS’s Jungkook (right) | @mstyle79/Instagram

Lee Min Woo debuted in 1998 as the main dancer and lead vocalist of Shinhwa under SM Entertainment. He debuted as a solo artist in 2003 under the stage name and the album Un-Touch-Able. He and some other members founded an agency called Shinhwa Company to manage their group activities.

Source: OSEN