Korean actor Kim Jung-hyun restarts career with new agency after controversies

Published September 26, 2021, 12:22 PM

by Jonathan Hicap

“This too shall pass.”

This is the inscription on a bench in a Seoul forest adopted by Primavera, the fan cafe name of Korean actor Kim Jung-hyun.

Kim Jung-hyun posted the photo of the bench on Instagram along with a letter, signaling that he is all set to resume his career five months after he became embroiled in controversies involving his former girlfriend and actress Seo Ye-ji and his former agency O& Entertainment.

Kim Jung-hyun in “Mr. Queen” and the photo he posted on Instagram on Sept. 25 (O& Entertainment, Instagram)

Early this year, his career was doing well after starring in the Korean drama “Mr. Queen,” which ended in February with a rating of 17.371 percent, the seventh highest in Korean cable TV history.

But that was stalled starting in April when controversies erupted including dating rumors with actress Seo Ji-hye, his contract validity issue with O& Entertainment, his behavior during the filming of the 2018 Korean drama “Time” and his attitude towards co-star Seohyun, and the manipulation and gaslighting issues with Seo Ye-ji.

After having an amicable settlement over his contract with O& Entertainment in May, it was announced on Sept. 24 that Kim Jung-hyun signed an exclusive contract with Story J Co., an agency which manages stars like Kim Tae-hee, Kim Sung-cheol, Seo In-guk and Yoo Seung-ho.

In his Instagram post on Sept. 25, Kim Jung-hyun apologized for the controversies, expressed gratitude to fans for their support and thanked people at his former agency.

“I took up the courage to convey my heart to those who have made efforts for me and prayed for me. Over the past few months, I think I’ve been wandering around where I don’t know where the floor is. I was busy looking back at myself, and I felt empty with no place to put my mind,” he wrote.

He added, “It was hard to endure myself. But at the same time, it was a time that allowed me to delve into the depths of my heart.”

“I’m a person who is very lacking. I regret not taking responsibility for the choices I made. I admit my own fault for being quick to blame others and not maintaining my own health. This is also a letter of self-reflection that I write to myself,” he said.

The 31-year-old star said, “I am an actor. No matter how much I thought about what to repay and how to reach the public, all I could was acting. That’s how I met Story J Company, my agency, and I gained courage when they accepted me as I am and promised to take care of me. I was impressed by the warm impression. Thank you for being a companion I can walk with.”

Kim Jung-hyun thanked people at O& Entertainment, saying, “Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I hope that there will be bright days for each other in the future. Also, thank you to the many journalists who pointed out wrongdoings before it was too late and sent me various messages through their articles.”

“Lastly, to the fans who waited and gave me strength until now, I bow my head and express my deepest gratitude. Because of you, I was able to gain strength. Using the feelings you sent me as nourishment for my life, I will not fall, and even if I fall, I will get up and walk again,” he said.

He added, “I will walk carefully one step at a time. I will live by focusing on acting so that I can repay you with a good image. Once again, I apologize to everyone who was hurt because of me. And I will devote myself to becoming a better person.”