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.

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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