Kim Jung-hyun’s behavior towards Seohyun resurfaces as he battles agency over contract

Published April 12, 2021, 1:16 PM

by Jonathan Hicap

Seohyun (left) and Kim Jung-hyun at the ‘Time’ drama press conference on July 20, 2018 (MBC) 

Following news articles stating that he is reportedly dating actress Seo Ji-hye, “Crash Landing on You” and “Mr. Queen” star Kim Jung-hyun is facing bad press in South Korea after it was revealed he is in conflict with his agency O& Entertainment over the validity period of his exclusive contract.  

In August 2018, Kim Jung-hyun stepped down from his lead role in the drama “Time” due to health reasons such as eating and sleep disorders, and went on hiatus for 11 months. He and Girls’ Generation’s Seohyun were the main stars of the drama. 

His current contract with O& Entertainment ends in May and the dating rumor with Seo Ji-hye became an issue as he was reportedly trying to get her help to sign up with her agency, Culture Depot. 

O& Entertainment is claiming that Kim Jung-hyun’s contract should be extended by 11 months to compensate for the time that he took a break after leaving “Time.” The agency has filed a dispute with the Korea Entertainment Management Association (KEMA) over his contract. 

Articles have resurfaced pinpointing his rude behavior towards Seohyun during the press conference for “Time” held on July 20, 2018. 

In a video clip of the press conference circulating on YouTube, Kim Jung-hyun and Seohyun were standing side by side to pose for the media and she tried to link her arm with him for the photo but he refused. 

Kim Jung-hyun was expressionless at the event and when the four main stars of the drama finished posing for the press, he left the stage immediately to go to his seat, leaving his three co-stars. 

At the time, he was criticized for his rude behavior but told the media at the event that “it is for my role,” the Korea Times reported in 2018. 

When it was announced that he would be leaving “Time,” O& Entertainment explained in August 2018 that he “has been receiving treatment while shooting for the drama ― he did not want to cause harm to the drama. The actor and crew tried their best to run until the end, but Kim had to quit midway after his doctor told him to have a mental and physical break.”

“He is doing all he can for the remaining part. Kim has been acting with enthusiasm and has succeeded in his role thanks to an outstanding character portrayal. We hope to see him again soon after he recovers,” said Korean TV channel MBC, which aired “Time.” 

According to an exclusive SBS report on April 11, a “Time” staff in-charge of Seohyun said, “Seohyun cried a lot on the set.” 

The staff member said Kim Jung-hyun did not greet Seohyun and had no eye contact with her, and he stayed in his car during breaks in the shooting. The staff member said Kim Jung-hyun showed signs of discomfort when there was a love scene during the filming. 

According to the staff, after filming a scene wherein Seohyun and Kim Jung-hyun touched hands, he wiped his hands with a tissue and when she saw it, Seohyun burst into tears on the set. 

Kim Jung-hyun once apologized to Seohyun through O& Entertainment but his behavior did not change much after, the staff added. 

The SBS news story added that Kim Jung-hyun’s change in attitude during the “Time” filming was because of his girlfriend, who was an actress at the time. Fellow actors asked Kim Jung-hyun about the rumors and he reportedly replied, “It’s not true.” 

Kim Jung-hyun’s fans expressed their support to him, saying his health was deteriorating due to serious eating, sleep and panic disorders. 

They said the actor has not even taken a proper break in the last five years since 2016 when he signed up with O& Entertainment, and added that during this time, he had nine dramas and four movies.