“I Was Their Human Ashtray”: First-Generation Girl Group Member Confesses New Details About Being Bullied By Her Members

She is in the midst of healing.

Cho Min Ah, a former member of the first-generation girl group Jewelry, recently shared new details about being bullied during her team activities.

Cho Min Ah | @cho_minah_/Instagram|

On July 17, Cho Min Ah posted a lengthy caption on her social media, revealing she was bullied for three years by her members and had to do stuff for them—like being their ashtray.

I was bullied within the group (Jewelry) for more than three years… They always smoked inside the van which was painful, and I had to hold onto my mental strength when they made me their human ashtray.

— Cho Min Ah


Cho Min Ah admitted that she used to say she got along with the members of Jewelry because she believed everybody would think she was the problem if she admitted that she was bullied. Therefore, the singer stayed silent even when she wasn’t allowed to ride in the van with the members and had to ride with the dancers. Eventually, her contract came to an end, and she had no thoughts whatsoever of renewing it.

Members Cho Min Ah, Seo In Young, Lee Ji Hyun, and Park Jung Ah (left to right) | Star Empire Entertainment

The singer also expressed her frustration about how perpetrators don’t even realize the pain they cause to the victims.

People who hurt others are not interested in or turn a blind eye to the victims suffering from their actions… If they say they don’t remember or insist they never did it, that’s that… For the person who has been victimized, the suffocating feeling, humiliation, and misery remain deeply ingrained, causing years and even decades of suffering.

— Cho Min Ah

She then stated that courage allows victims to heal themselves and return to a scar-less state.

When one becomes isolated due to past wounds, their present life deteriorates, and they lose hope for the future. It takes courage to heal oneself and return to a state without scars, to live life well without prejudice.

— Cho Min Ah


Cho Min Ah’s statement of being bullied correlated with what she had shared two days earlier. On July 15, the singer shared her experiences of overcoming panic disorder and anxiety, offering support to netizens who shared the same pain. Earlier this year, in February, Jewelry member Seo In Young got married, and the Jewelry members gathered for the wedding—except Cho Min Ah—which sparked controversy. Cho Min Ah addressed this incident, saying that it was another trauma that led to panic disorders.

Due to the shock of experiencing similar events from my early twenties this February and the anxiety caused by my living conditions, I developed symptoms of panic disorder.

— Cho Min Ah

Jewelry members at Seo In Young’s wedding | @eunjung1128/Instagram

In addition, she disclosed she had a severe anxiety disorder, peripheral neuropathy, and systemic circulation disorder. She also revealed that after taking medication for mental health daily for a while, she moved and started doing home training, which improved her physical and mental health to the point where she could stop taking medication. Her recent medical examination showed significant improvement in her health condition as well.

| @cho_minah_/Instagram

Cho Min Ah shared her story of healing and encouraged others not to cover up their pain and pretend it never happened but rather to embrace the past because new flesh grows over old wounds.

A person’s character never truly changes, so if you’re not on the right path, don’t go down that road. Even in desperation, don’t give up and carry a positive attitude, and eventually, the negative things that made life difficult will pass. Don’t cover up the pain and pretend it never happened. Don’t disregard your wounded self from the past, and embrace them instead. Within the wounds, there is wisdom, and new flesh grows over old wounds.

— Cho Min Ah

In her most recent post, Cho Min Ah once again encouraged others who were victims of bullying.

Don’t hide because you’re alone, speak out if you’re in pain or struggling, and leave situations that bother you. There is no difficulty that cannot be overcome. It just takes time, but it all passes by. I’m always rooting for you.

— Cho Min Ah


Jewelry debuted in 2001 and gained popularity through their hit songs “Superstar” and “One More Time.” Cho Min Ah joined Jewelry in 2002 and left the group in 2006. The group went through multiple member changes and eventually disbanded in 2015.

Source: Star News and @cho_minah_/Instagram
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