Jo Byeong Gyu Personally Addresses Allegations Of School Violence

On February 23, Jo Byeong Gyu uploaded a post on his personal Instagram addressing the allegations of school violence leveled against him.

On February 16, an online user (“A“) uploaded a post claiming to have been bullied by Jo Byeong Gyu while they were at school together in New Zealand. HB Entertainment, Jo Byeong Gyu’s agency, requested a police investigation into the post and A took down the post and apologized. Since then, the actor has been accused by two other online users (“B” and “D“) and defended by another (known as “C”) claiming to be his classmate. HB Entertainment has denied all claims of school violence and announced legal action.

The following is Jo Byeong Gyu’s statement on Instagram:

When the first false post came up about me, I was so shocked that I froze with a sense of injustice. Even though we were contacted the very next day by the poster asking for lenience, it was difficult for me to get over the feeling of being wronged.

We agreed to be lenient, but more malicious posts came up after that, and I was taken aback at how people could use photos that had nothing to do with their words as “proof” that whatever they wrote was the truth. As false statements and rebuttals started to spread on the Internet, I felt a sense of disillusionment and doubt about the life I had led for 26 years [Korean age].

I have learned that the person who claimed to be a classmate of mine in New Zealand [online user “D”] had used a random photo without permission belonging to a different classmate. It seems like we did go to the same school, but we weren’t acquainted, and we have never gone to karaoke together, and it is also not true that I committed violence there. This person has now deleted their false post and is checking through an acquaintance whether lenient treatment is possible. I want to emphasize that their deleting the post and their apology is not the result of threatening treatment or intimidation.

It’s true that I liked to play soccer as a kid in elementary school, but it is not true that I kicked out other kids on the playing field by force or committed violence. [This is in reference to the post uploaded by “B.”] In the second semester of the third grade of elementary school, I transferred to Bucheon. I have also never once extorted money from others or rode a motorcycle.

I dreamed of being a soccer player and was a playful and happy-go-lucky student. Like everyone else, I had friends that I was close with and people that I was not friends with. I am aware that I cannot be free from the memories of those whom I didn’t know well. But when I was maliciously framed for things I didn’t do on the basis of one post and an unrelated photo, there was absolutely nothing I could do. For several days, I endured while trying to throw off thoughts that I should not think.

I was scared of writing vague posts that would make people judge me as right or wrong, so I deleted my account and posts. Why did I keep becoming the target of such volatile reports, and why did I have to explain myself each and every time? I was cautious about giving a response because I knew that my explanations could also become another arrow, another tool for others to fit into their imagined stories about me.

It’s hard for me to endure this situation in which I am being misunderstood for things I didn’t do just because of a photograph and a couple of paragraphs. I cannot respond one-by-one to all these anonymous false rumors and malicious comments. We have requested an investigation into all of it, so please be patient. Please.

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