K-actress Seo Ye-ji chickens out of own movie presscon due to Kim Jung-hyun scandal

Published April 13, 2021, 9:50 AM

by Jonathan Hicap

(From left) Kim Jung-hyun, Seo Ye-ji, Seo Ji-hye and Seohyun (Instagram, tvN, MBC)

Korean drama “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay” actress Seo Ye-ji has decided not to attend her own movie press preview and press conference scheduled at 2 p.m. today, April 13, following the publication of a news article on April 12 that accused her of manipulating actor and alleged ex-boyfriend Kim Jung-hyun when he was filming the drama “Time” in 2018.

Kim Jung-hyun, 31, and Seo Ye-ji, 31, starred in the film “Stay With Me” that was released in March 2018, after which he started filming “Time.”

Seo Ye-ji’s new movie “Recalled,” which also stars actor Kim Kang-woo, is scheduled for release in South Korea on April 21.

Ahead of the release, a press preview and press conference for the movie will be held today at the CGV Yongsan I’Park Mall in Yongsan, Seoul, and Seo Ye-ji, Kim Kang-woo and director Seo Yoo-min were scheduled to attend.

However, after the report came out showing text messages between her and Kim Jung-hyun in which she controlled his behavior and ordered him not to do any “skinship” scenes with co-star and Girls’ Generation member Seohyun, Seo Ye-ji decided not to attend today’s press event.

In an exclusive report by Korean media outlet Dispatch on April 12, it stated that Seo Ye-ji manipulated Kim Jung-hyun and ordered him not to have any skinship with Seohyun despite it was required in the script and to change the script so that there would be no romantic scenes or physical contact.

Seo Ye-ji also ordered the actor to take videos and audio recordings during filming and send them to her. The news report added that when Kim Jung-hyun received a script, he would ask for revisions and send it to Seo Ye-ji.

In one of the text message exchanges, Kim Jung-hyun told Seo Ye-ji, “I keep reading the script. I’m not doing anything else.”

“Correct it well so there is no romance. You are happy because of me. So make me happier,” Seo Ye-ji told the actor.

The report stated that from episodes 5 to 12 of “Time,” the script had 13 skinship scenes but none of them made it to the airing.

From Seo Ji-hye to Seo Ye-ji

The Kim Jung-hyun issue started when Dispatch published an exclusive story on April 8 stating that Kim Jung-hyun and 36-year-old actress Seo Ji-hye have been dating after they starred in the hit drama “Crash Landing on You.”

Dispatch published photos of the two together and added that they would usually date at home as their apartments are only 10 minutes away. Kim Jung-hyun moved to Seongdong-gu in Seoul, where the actress lives, last year.

The dating rumor came up as Kim Jung-hyun was reportedly trying to get her help to sign up with her agency, Culture Depot.

This led to the revelation that Kim Jung-hyun is currently in dispute with his agency, O& Entertainment, over the expiration of his exclusive contract.

His contract ends in May but O& Entertainment is claiming that it should be extended by 11 months to compensate for the time that he did not work after he decided to leave “Time” in the middle of the series in 2018.

The contract issue spotlighted his rude behavior towards Seohyun during the press conference for “Time” held on July 20, 2018, or less than a week before the drama started airing on July 25.

A video clip of the “Time” press conference showed Seohyun tried to link her arm with Kim Jung-hyun for media photos but he refused. Kim Jung-hyun was also expressionless at the event.

He was criticized for his rude behavior at the event but told the media that “it is for my role,” according to a Korea Times in 2018.

It was announced in August 2018 that he would be leaving “Time” due to health reasons including eating and sleep disorders, with O& Entertainment explaining 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.”

Seohyun suffers on the set of “Time”

An exclusive report by TV channel SBS on April 11 stated that according to a staff in-charge of Seohyun, “Seohyun cried a lot on the set” mainly because of Kim Jung-hyun’s behavior.

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.

In one incident, according to the staff, after shooting 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 said.

The report 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.”

This led to Dispatch uncovering who was behind Kim Jung-hyun’s behavior and pinpointed Seo Ye-ji as the alleged culprit.

Kim Jung-hyun’s last drama was the “Mr. Queen,” which aired from December 2020 to February this year.

Amid the scandal, fans have expressed their support to Kim Jung-hyun, saying his health was deteriorating due to serious eating, sleep and panic disorders.