K-pop girl group Red Velvet’s leader Irene sent a letter to fans to apologize again for her past behavior and promised that she will “become a more mature person.”
Irene was embroiled in a controversy last October when a stylist-editor Kang Kook-hwa exposed her for rude behavior towards her and said she had a recording of the incident as evidence.
Kang compared Irene to “nut rage” Heather Cho, the Korean Air vice president who went berserk on a company-owned plane in 2014 after she was served nuts in original packaging by a crew member.
“The 20 minutes in the unfamiliar room was like hell. No hellos exchanged, shouting in my face with [her] phone in hand pointing [her] fingers while I stood and [she] sat in a chair, blurting out the words. Tears flooded out of my eyes after listening to the venomous words spewed out by [her] tongue. I just couldn’t help, it just burst out. Why must I be humiliated? For whom? For what? For money?” wrote Kang on Instagram, Korea JoongAng Daily reported.
After Kang made the post, Irene personally apologized to her and also issued an apology on Instagram. The incident prompted a Korean fan community of Red Velvet on DC Inside to demand that Irene should leave the group.
In her new apology, which she posted on Jan. 15, Irene wrote, “First of all, I wanted to say that I apologize for causing so much pain and worry to many people because of inadequacy.”
She said she started as a trainee at age 19 in 2009 and up to now, being Irene of Red Velvet “has been all of my life.”
“I have lived while thinking that I was getting along with the people around me in my own way that I didn’t know that my communication method or expressions could be a problem, and I only thought that each has a different way of communication,” she said.
She added, “I received a lot of concerns and reprimand not only from the public but also from people around me for the past event and this gave me time to quietly reflect on myself.”
“As I cannot turn back time, I am making a lot of effort not to go back to the way I used to be. I realized the weight of words and actions, and I will try to become a more mature person,” Irene promised.
Irene added that in the future, as leader and singer of Red Velvet, “I will not only show you a good image, but also as the person Bae Joo-hyun, I will try not to disappoint you.”
“I hope that somebody will no longer be criticized for what happened because of my inadequacy,” she said.
Last December, or two months after the incident, it was reported that Kang was still receiving hate for what happened.
“Please stop bothering me. Don’t threaten me. It’s a crime and costs dearly. She doesn’t want it either. I’m doing silent for her sake. This is my last request. Please and please,” according to a post by Kang uploaded on an online community.
Fans of Red Velvet welcomed Irene’s apology and expressed their support to her.
“Irene you didn’t do anything wrong. It’s normal for people to have mood swings, the case here is because you’re a celebrity,” one fan wrote.
Other messages are “Irene best leader,” “Irene we love you! Cheer up, we will always have your back,” and “Irene unnie you’re the greatest woman of this generation! We love you 3000!!!!”