Former Idol And “Transit Love” Contestant Coco Shuts Down Her Sponsorship Rumors With CJ Group Chairman

She provided details about the entire situation.

Former Blady and CocoSori member, Coco Lee has personally addressed the ongoing sponsorship rumors on her YouTube channel.

Coco Lee.

The former girl group member has recently been swept up in sponsorship allegations following her appearance on TVING‘s hit reality dating series, Transit Love. Coco began to gain unseen popularity following her appearance on the show, as she garnered positive forward momentum with her career.

Coco on “Transit Love” | TVING

Due to her sudden overnight success and newfound attention, netizens began to allege that the former idol had a sponsor backing up her activities. As the sponsorship rumors began to spread like wildfire online, Coco decided to personally squash the accusations once and for all.

The former girl group member shared her personal statement through her YouTube channel community with a lengthy message addressed to all her fans and viewers. The former K-Pop star first apologized for her late response and explained why it took her longer than expected to address the situation.

Firstly, I would like to apologize for the delay in my response to the many people who care about me and who must have been waiting anxiously for my statement.

I currently do not work with an official agency and am working on my own. My mother has been helping me with my work. Therefore, it was difficult to express my position immediately and my personal statement was ultimately delayed.

— Coco @rilacCoco/YouTube

| @rilaccoco/Instagram

Without beating around the bush, the YouTuber admitted to meeting up with the chairman in question through her “mother’s friend,” but revealed that all they shared was “a meal.” However, Coco made it expressively clear that this was the only time she ever met with Chairman Lee.

I have been working on my own without any agency for many years now and my family, especially my mother, has been helping me with my work. At the end of 2020, my mother heard that one of her friends was planning to have a meal with Chairman Lee. It was my mother’s friend who invited me to join and eat with Chairman Lee.

My mother was excited about the invitation and took care of all my workload herself so that I could go. It was then that I met Chairman Lee for the first time.

I haven’t met with Chairman Lee since this dinner, neither publicly nor privately.

— Coco @rilacCoco/YouTube

Following the above introduction, Coco then began to share the exact process of how she was cast for Transit Love, which she clearly stated was not through any “inappropriate casting process[es].”

Regarding the television program I appeared in, I was cast because of my image. It was specifically the image that was portrayed on my Instagram that led to my casting. For two months during the recruitment process, I participated in different phone interviews and a 2 hour on-site interview. I was chosen as a final cast member following this process.

There has never been an inappropriate casting process.

— Coco @rilacCoco/YouTube

| @rilaccoco/Instagram

She also shared details regarding her album promotions and the “standard distribution contracts” she utilized to release new music without the help of any agencies. This was provided as proof that she did not, in fact, seek the help of any sponsorships to release her album.

I released my new album through standard distribution contracts used by most singers. I did not receive any type of favors. I’m embarrassed to admit, but the revenue from my album was not much. If it’s necessary, I will disclose the exact profit I made from my album.

— Coco @rilacCoco/YouTube

The former CocoSori member concluded her message by relaying another apology to all of her fans, while thanking them for their continuous support.

I feel sorry to my fans who have always supported me. You all must have been greatly hurt by this incident. Nevertheless, I sincerely thank you all for continuing to believe in me and waiting for me until the end.

— Coco @rilacCoco/YouTube

| @rilaccoco/Instagram

Back in December 2021, rumors began to circulate that  Lee Jae Hwan, a chairman of CJ Group, was allegedly sponsoring a former female idol.

These Korean entertainment sponsorships involve a wealthy sponsor, in this case Chairman Lee, and a celebrity who is trying to make a break through in their career. The sponsors will pay their way through the industry, giving the celebrity more opportunities to gain exposure through promotional activities. While it’s not always the case, these sponsored relationships can involve sexual favors as an exchange.

CJ Group chairman, Lee Jae Hwan.

This specific allegation involving Chairman Lee began after 8 News shared screenshots of text messages between CJ Group’s CEO (chairman Lee’s brother), Chairman Lee, and an anonymous idol ‘A’ back in December 2021.

The content of the text messages included information about “music distribution,” as well as the former idol A’s “YouTube activities.” Following this reveal, netizens alluded that the idol ‘A’ in question was former IZ*ONE member Choi Yena due to her numerous promotional activities during her rookie years.

Former IZ*ONE member, Choi Yena.

However, it was following Choi Yena and her agency’s firm denials that netizens began pointing their fingers at Coco, who began to see incredible success thanks to her Transit Love appearance and her YouTube channel.

Source: WikiTree