MASC’s ACE Reveals He Has Left Group After Physically Assaulting Chibin; Chibin Responds

MASC’s ACE and Chibin have faced off on social media over the details of a physical assault that occurred earlier this year.

On July 26, Chibin uploaded a vague but troubling post on Instagram about suffering a physical assault at the hands of an unnamed attacker, whom he referred to only as “hyung.” Although he did not specify who had assaulted him, fans speculated that the “hyung” in question was his fellow MASC member ACE, noting that Chibin had written “You’re the only one I unfollowed” in his message and that ACE was the only MASC member Chibin was not following on Instagram.

The next day, Chibin elaborated on the details of the incident while continuing not to expressly identify his attacker. He explained that in March of this year, one of his bandmates had grown angry with him over a borrowed umbrella and had repeatedly cursed and yelled at him. He then described a violent assault in which the bandmate had smashed the umbrella against a stone wall and used the sharp, spiky ribs of the broken umbrella to attack his face and head. According to Chibin, when his other bandmates attempted to intervene, his attacker pushed them away and began punching and kicking him as his face and head began to bleed.

On July 28, ACE confirmed that he was the attacker that Chibin had described and stated that he had left the group in order to take responsibility for the assault on his bandmate. In a lengthy post on Instagram written in both Korean and English, he apologized for the incident but objected to parts of Chibin’s story, claiming that not all of the details were true.

ACE also posted a song on both SoundCloud and Instagram with lyrics that aggressively contested Chibin’s account of the night, such as, “As if it were a one-sided assault… if I don’t do anything, you’ll probably write even more fiction/No, I’m already trash, no, I’m already trash/Before they pick me up and throw me out, I have to explain my side of things.

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안녕하세요 에이스입니다. 먼저 많은 분들께 심려 끼쳐드려 죄송합니다. 우선, 저를 믿어주시고 사랑해주셨던 팬분들께 너무 죄송합니다. 그리고 함께했던 멤버들에게도 미안한 마음뿐입니다. – 전후 사정과 제 의중을 떠나 결과론적으로 제가 행한 행동에 대한 잘못을 인정합니다. 그렇지만 우산을 돌담에 부러뜨려 흉기로 만들었다거나, 당시 저를 말리는 멤버들에게 폭행을 가했다는 점은 절대 사실이 아님을 알려드립니다. – 또한 5개월간 사과 한번 없이 잠적했다는 말도 사실이 아니며, 공백 기간 동안 모든 책임을 지고 팀 탈퇴를 비롯한 회사 계약을 해지, 경찰 조사까지 완료한 상태입니다. – 한쪽의 일방적인 주장으로 마스크를 아껴주셨던 팬 분들, 마스크 멤버들, 그리고 소중한 주변 분들께서 두 번 다시 상처받는 일이 없었으면 좋겠습니다. – 제 미성숙함에 통감하며 다시 한 번 죄송하다는 말씀을 드립니다. 앞으로도 마스크를 응원하며 많은 관심과 아낌없는 사랑 부탁드립니다. – This is ACE Firstly I would like to sincerely apologize to our fans, the public and to our members for arousing criticism. I would like to apologize from the bottom of my heart to our fans who have believed in me and supported me. I would also like to apologize to my members who have come this far with me together. – Asides from whatever situation and my intentions at the time of the incident, and based on the result of the incident, I would like to admit to the fault in my actions of that day. However, never did I break an umbrella on a brick wall to make a weapon or assault my members as they were trying to prevent me. I would like to state that these accusations are comepletely false. – Furthermore, accusations that I disappeared without contact for 5 months without a single apology is completely untrue. During this period of inactivity, I took full responsibility for my actions by leaving the group, ending my contract with the company while also undergoing and completing a police investigation. – I wish that the fans who supported MASC, the MASC members and the people I love are not hurt or taken aback by these one-sided accusations. – I am fully aware of the immaturity of my actions. I would like to once again apolgize for my actions. I will continue to give my support for MASC. I ask that you also continue to give your love and support for MASC.

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Chibin immediately responded with an Instagram post of his own, vehemently denying ACE’s version of events and sharing screenshots of text messages that he received from ACE earlier this year. He also explained that his screenshots showed the sender’s name as “Unknown” because “the assailant left [mobile messaging service] KakaoTalk about two hours ago.” 

In the message from March 19, ACE asks if Chibin is feeling better and says that he’ll be leaving the group, adding, “It’s not because of you that I’m leaving, so I hope that you don’t think that way.” In his messages from March 11, ACE says that he misses Chibin and is so worried about him that he can’t sleep.

“I don’t know what he was thinking when he wrote this music and confused everyone,” wrote Chibin in the caption. “I never asked him to leave the group… I was the one who offered him my hand for a handshake [of reconciliation].” He shared that he had offered to make peace with ACE in front of their agency’s executives after the incident, writing, “I told him at the time, ‘My mom said that the attacker is probably going through an even harder time than the victim. Hyung, I understand what you must be feeling.'”

He continued, “You wrote [in your lyrics], ‘As if it were a one-sided assault’… from what I’ve read, all I see is you trying to cover things up and shield yourself. Unsurprisingly, until the very end, you remain a selfish person who thinks only of yourself. As you can see from the photos in my post, it was the assailant who said he would leave the group, not me.”

Chibin went on, “[ACE] says that he wanted to reconcile with me, but he never came to [visit me at] the hospital, and I want to clarify that I never, ever charged at him while cursing [as ACE describes in his lyrics]. His claim that he backed away in surprise while waving an umbrella, that I cursed at him—these are all absurd lies, and the members all know the truth. Except for the leader and my friend Moonbong, who weren’t present during the incident, all the members [were there]!

“You, who never even apologized sincerely, don’t seem to know what’s important or who’s really the one writing fiction…. who will people believe? You, the attacker, who always hit me and Moonbong on our heads? You, who were always at the center of our group’s disputes? You, who put everyone at a loss for what to do by suddenly leaving the broadcast station an hour before the live show, cursing so loudly that all the other singers in the waiting room could hear? You, who got drunk and called my mom while sobbing? My mom shielded you back then, but things have changed. You, who disappeared without a single trace for five months.”

Chibin added, “I wrote this so quickly that I may have left some things out. I was so shocked and bewildered that I rambled too much [while writing this post]. Thank you for reading it carefully.”

MASC debuted as a four-member group in 2016, after which Chibin joined the group as one of its new members in 2017. The group most recently made a comeback as an eight-member group in 2017 with the title track “Do It.”

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