April finally disbanded due to ex-member Lee Hyun Joo‘s exposure to bullying, member Chaewon raised questions about the related investigation and appealed for innocence.
Former member Lee Hyun Joo, who previously left April, claimed that she was bullied by members during group activities. She also said that the manager and Chaewon were dating at that time and that the manager acknowledged the fact that she was being bullied, but he tolerated it.
On her YouTube channel, Chaewon said, “I sued the suspect who spread and created false facts such as separation and dating within the group. The current situation, including the background of the application, was conveyed in detail.’
Chaewon said that she proceeded with the complaint because she determined that Lee Hyun Joo‘s allegation was defamation by timely false information.
However, the investigative agency judged that the statement could not be trusted because the DSP Media officials and members, who were referring to Chaewon, were related to Chaewon, but Lee Hyun Joo‘s brother and friend acknowledged the credibility of the statement even though it was related to Lee Hyun Joo. In response, Chaewon appealed for injustice, saying, “Even though the former manager and the manager in charge at the time we’re able to objectively state the ‘April bullying incident’ claimed by Lee Hyun Joo, the investigative agency did not conduct any investigation.”
“Lee Hyun Joo‘s statement of my relationship with the manager is also false information but the investigative agency omitting the statement and the Kakaotalk evidence materials made the decision to reject Lee Hyun Joo’s claim as if it was true.“, Chaewon continued.
In addition, Chaewon said, “Lee Hyun Joo’s friend, Mr. A, claimed to know the facts after seeing the contents of the KakaoTalk conversation, but there was no mention of separation in the conversation. Lee Hyun Joo claimed that the harassment continued from 2014 to 2016, but April and I have been living in a dormitory since March 2015,”
Finally, Chaewon said, “I thought about giving up the legal battle against the repeated unfair decision to appeal, but I filed an objection with the hope that no one would suffer from the spread of false information again, and I hope the truth will be revealed. Since there is no hiding, I will live proudly.“
On January 28, April announced the disbandment after 6 years of debut. The members said their apologies to the fans in a long letter, and member Yang Ye Na said, “I want to inform you that we will never disband because we acknowledge the controversy or because we are not proud. We were seriously injured, and in a situation where we are still getting hurt, we decided that it would be difficult for both the company and our members to recover.”
Yang Ye Na also said, “I decided that legal action was no longer meaningful. There were no such incidents, but I don’t know how to prove that they didn’t, and I want to drop my personal complaint through the experience that even if there is injustice, it cannot be properly resolved.”
When Lee Hyun Joo claimed that she suffered from bullying within the group, speculation and criticism from netizens continued as the situations of bullying were discovered in the past April activity videos. However, April fans demanded an explanation, saying that some loopholes were found in Lee Hyun Joo‘s claim. In addition, both the agency and the members claimed that “there was no bullying or harassment,” but rather refuted that Lee Hyun Joo suffered damage due to her unfaithful attitude and lies.
Some fans’ were pissed due to April’s disbandment and directed their anger at Lee Hyun Joo. Currently, Lee Hyun Joo‘s SNS is receiving comments mixed with criticism such as “Clarify the question about the bullying allegation“, “Are you satisfied with the disbandment now?” and “A lie cannot defeat the truth.”
On the other hand, netizens’ meetings such as “There were testimonies of former DSP trainees in the additional materials submitted by Lee Hyun Joo“, “I looked closely at the video, and the decision to not appeal seems to be a natural result”, “I think it would be bad for each other to continue the court battle” A hostile reaction followed.