April members were accused of bullying fellow member Hyunjoo, who along with her brother made multiple claims about being pushed around in February 2021.
In April 2021, she also released a personal statement on Instagram slamming April's agency for suing her brother and lying about things that took place between 2014 and 2016.
April's bullying controversy grew bigger with every claim that she and people close to her made. At this time, no members of April responded to Hyunjoo or her brother's claims. This further led fans to believe that the members were indeed in the wrong.
On June 21st, four members of April sat down for an exclusive interview with Sports Kyunghyang. In this interview, the members revealed more details about what really occurred during their training period.
Instances that Hyunjoo recalled about her tumbler, a precious gift, being misused, her shoes being stolen or the case of the rotten kimbap that was left in the car resulted in an argument.
In the interview, when asked why they were silent all this while, the members claimed that it was because they had believed that the truth would come out. Their agency, too, had asked them to "stay still" and they followed directives.
However, they added, "But we’ve realized for the past four months that the occupation of being an ‘idol’ is one that’s difficult to understand. There are some things we weren’t able to share in order to protect APRIL and former member Hyunjoo.”
April Naeun and Chaewon's journals were also accessed. Along with this, psychotherapy records also confirmed that both members were in therapy in 2016 for about six months.
In the interview, April members Chaewon, Naeun, Yena, and Jinsol claimed that Hyunjoo was the one who made their life difficult. She had problems adjusting to life as an idol.
She also reportedly confessed to members that she wanted to be an actor and not an idol. She used to call in sick all the time and also missed two important music show appearances after their debut.
Entries in the journal also indicate that both Chaewon and Naeun had suicidal thoughts. During her treatment on March 31st 2016, Nauen was recorded as saying, "My condition is getting serious. I think of death a few times a day. Unnie is trying to wear the crown without a single effort."
Chaewon's record, on the other hand stated, "Isn't it so selfish to be sick one out of the two years she was training? I hate to see her now, and I hate how the others are having it hard... Those who practice hard only become fools..."
I think this is my limit. I'm barely scraping through each day. I don't cry often, but recently I cry every day. I've been wanting to die recently.
In the interview, Naeun added “I feel like I’m being driven to death.” Other members said,"Our time stopped on February 28th. We’re the victims, not the perpetrators. We are being cornered as evil people and treated like sinners, and we want to set things straight."
We’ve never done anything wrong or made a mistake to Hyunjoo. APRIL has grown with the concept of ‘clean idols’ for seven years. There were some things we didn’t want to reveal, but many people wanted us to share evidence. Now, we want to show everything.”
Fans are divided over the truth of April's interview
Despite April members explaining their circumstances and providing proof about how all the claims made by Hyunjoo were false, many netizens were unhappy with the interview citing inconsistencies in the members' stories.
It had to do with a sticker photo sheet that the members showed as proof. They said that the picture featuring a happy Hyunjoo was taken during their training days.
Fans, however, noticed that the outfit and accessories, among other things, are similar to the ones that they wore for their 2016 show "April's My Wish." This was much after their debut. Citing this inconsistency, many refused to believe the interview. You can check out more reactions here.
However, April's members did find support on Twitter. One user, for instance, shared all the good things that the band members did for Hyunjoo, pointing out that the claim could be false.