Dating rumors for K-Pop idols can have terrible results from expulsion from groups to hate from fans and netizens. In recent times, dating news from idols has become a little less controversial like iKON’s Bobby continuing to promote with the group following his marriage and child and DAWN and Hyuna promoting together while publicly dating.
Unfortunately, one of the first cases of dating rumors between idols had catastrophic results for the girl group Baby V.O.X.
K-Pop girl group Baby V.O.X debuted in 1997, a time when 1st gen groups like S.E.S and g.o.d were dominating the charts. The group’s company, then DR Entertainment, now DR Music, actually modeled the group after the Spice Girls and H.O.T, earning the group the title “the female H.O.T.”
Their debut hit somewhat of a rough start as their title track, “To Men,” was banned from broadcast due to the lyrical content.
It was during this album’s promotions that the group line-up had its first of many changes. Member Cha Yumi left the group due to an onstage injury and was replaced by Kan Miyoun. Then members Jang Hyunjung and Jung Shiwoon left the group and were replaced by Shim Eunjin and Lee Gai. It was with this line-up that Baby V.O.X hit high levels of success following the release of Baby V.O.X II, where the group’s concept changed to a much more cute and public-friendly image.
This line-up would also lead to the first major major scandal BABY V.O.X would face. It was discovered that Lee Gai was actually 30 years old, a full ten years older than her profile’s age. Fans complained until Lee Gai was removed from the group and replaced with 15-year-old Yoon Eunhye.
Things seemed to be heading in a positive direction for the group after this. They released their third album where they returned back to a hip-hop concept, the album sells over 200 thousand copies and earns them their first music show win. It’s worth noting that many other girl groups at the time sang about heartbreak in a sad way, while BABY V.O.X’s content was much angrier sounding.
It was during this time that rumors began to spread that member Miyoun was dating Moon Heejun, a member of the popular boy group H.O.T. The group was very popular among younger girls who were known to react strongly to any girl group members getting close to the members.
The members of Baby V.O.X suddenly had an influx of anti-fans who would take any opportunity to harass them. Some of the “minor” incidents that occurred were destroyed posters of the members turning up in the group’s dorm mailbox, negative fan chants during their performances, and eggs and trash being thrown at them.
Whenever we’re on the road performing, we have this fear… Getting on and off the car, we’re constantly terrified. We don’t know who’ll be throwing what at us, so…
— Eunjin during an interview
The incidents continued to increase in ferocity: Miyoun cut her hand after she received fan letters that contained razor blades inside them, at a fan meeting Eunjin was “gifted” a dead cat, and, what could be considered the worst act of their anti-fans, a person dressed up as a staff member and sprayed Eunhye in the eye with a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, and red pepper.
Eunhye had to go to the hospital to be treated for damage to her cornea and continued to promote wearing an eye-patch.
It’s important to remember that the girl group were all under 21 at this point with Eunhye being only 15 at the time. Both Miyoun and Heejun stated they only saw each other at music shows and didn’t have any interactions outside of that.
The anti-fan behavior wasn’t just limited to fans of H.O.T: at a music show performance, fans of Shinhwa began chanting “turn it off” as Baby V.O.X performed their track “Betrayal.” Shinhwa were actually penalized for this and had to temporarily halt music show promotions.
The group later suffered through another major scandal involving the illegal sampling of a Tupac song that ultimately led to their disbandment.
The behavior of anti-fans, however, also was part of the reason Eun Jin left the group, which caused the group to naturally disband after that. The other members did not have any negative feelings towards her for leaving as they completely understood how badly the events stressed Eun Jin. In recent reality show appearances, the members have talked about how hard things were for them during that time.
They meant to hurt Miyoun, but Miyoun never got hurt. Instead, the members around her always did.
— Eunjin in an appearance on Radio Star
After disbandment, the group were able to have successful solo careers and eventually even reunited for a performance in 2010. Baby V.O.X are thankfully remembered for their powerful and impactful music instead of their treatment at the hands of anti-fans.