The four sexual assault charges made towards K-pop idol Park Yoochun, 30, in the past year may have been dropped, but damage has already been done to his reputation.
Last year, four women filed separate charges against Yoochun, with the first police report stating that he raped a woman in the toilet of the bar where she works. Subsequently, three more women came forward to file police reports, with one claiming that the singer had raped her in the toilet of a karaoke establishment while another claimed he raped her in the bathroom of his house.
The first accuser’s boyfriend even submitted her underwear and clothes to the police as evidence, and the pair was later discovered to have contacted Yoochun’s company C-Jes Entertainment for monetary compensation prior to making the police report. However, Yoochun was subsequently found to be innocent and the woman was sentenced to two years in prison for false accusations and attempted extortion.
But despite proving his innocence, Yoochun, who is currently in the army and will complete his national service in May, hasn’t received any job offers. This comes as a surprise as popular actors usually have projects lined up when they leave the army.
But we can't say that we're totally surprised. The Korean entertainment industry is known to be very unforgiving towards artistes embroiled in controversy. It's why their stars are often seen as squeaky clean and devoid of blemish, physical or metaphorical. Prior to the scandal, Yoochun, a member of K-pop boyband JYJ, had enjoyed immense popularity and was the star of several highly-rated K-dramas like Rooftop Prince and Sungkyunkwan Scandal.
C-Jes Entertainment has since released a statement saying: “Park Yoochun would like to offer his deepest apology to the public, and will use this incident to reflect on himself.”
Though we think the real issue here is how long the public will take to forgive him.