Can Kim Seon-ho’s career be revived? Timeline of controversy surrounding actor’s ex-girlfriend

A still of Kim Seon-ho from his show Hometown Cha Cha Cha (Image via tvN)
A still of Kim Seon-ho from his show Hometown Cha Cha Cha (Image via tvN)

A day after Kim Seon-ho’s recent drama Hometown Cha Cha Cha came to an end, a post on a Korean online community went viral. The post was allegedly made by the ex-girlfriend of an actor who claimed that she was manipulated to get an abortion. She referred to the actor as "Actor K," and there have been multiple twists since.

This article takes an in-depth look at what really occurred between the time that the post was made public and the last statement from Kim Seon-ho’s ex-girlfriend.

Online post about Kim Seon-ho that went viral: 17 October 2021

On October 17, a woman who claimed to be the ex-girlfriend of "Actor K" posted on an online community that she was manipulated into getting an abortion. The post explained how the actor had paid for the procedure and promised to marry her the following year, but had dumped her after the procedure.

In the post, she mentioned that her then boyfriend stated, “If you give birth now, I have to pay 900 million KRW in damages but I don't have money right now. What if you jeopardize my parents as well? Let's move in together next year."

This person also claimed that the actor in question was not as he seemed in public and was cruel. She also pointed out that his recent outburst on a variety show hinted at his true personality.

Netizens' speculation that the actor addressed in the post was Kim Seon-ho: 18 October 2021

Fans began to speculate about the actor’s identity, and the major clue available to them was his recent outburst on a variety program. Kim Seon-ho, who rose to popularity with Start-Up, was also a cast member of the variety program 2 Days & 1 Night.

There was an incident recently when he burst out after losing a game. The anonymous writer also referred to her boyfriend as "Actor K," which fans assumed was a clue to the actor’s family. Soon enough, speculation that the man in question was Kim Seon-ho spread quickly.

Kim Seon-ho’s fans released a statement to warn anyone spreading false rumors about the actor: 18 October 2021

As speculation began to go viral online, fans of the Hometown Cha Cha Cha actor released a statement.

In the statement, they said: "There is currently a lot of speculation about actor Kim Seon-ho, and there is no way we can help but feel miserable, so we are issuing an official statement. Kim Seon-ho has emphasized that he needs to take care of himself not only in acting, but also in terms of personality and disposition. He stood in front of the public in a consistent manner, keeping his promise unchanged until now.”

They added in warning against all those spreading rumors, "The fans of Kim Seon-ho announce that they will take all possible legal measures, including criminal charges and civil damages, without any leniency or tolerance.”

Loss of endorsement deals and movies for Kim Seon-ho: 18 October 2021 to 21 October 2021

Once speculation about Kim Seon-ho went viral, he began to lose endorsement deals. Domino's Pizza, among other brands, removed ads featuring the actor from their social networking site pages and also made videos on YouTube private. He also stepped down from movies that he was expected to work on, including 2 O’Clock Date.

Statement from Kim Seon-ho’s agency Salt Entertainment: 19 October 2021

Salt Entertainment, Kim Seon-ho’s agency released a statement in which they requested more time to investigate the claims that were made online. At the time, it was revealed that the agency was in talks to renew their contract with the actor, which ended after he wrapped up his commitment to Hometown Cha Cha.

Netizens revisiting Kim Seon-ho’s old interviews: 19 October 2021

Kim Seon-ho’s statement in the past about ruining two tutoring academies garnered attention. The interview took place in December 2016 on Within News in which he was asked about his childhood, middle school, and high school years. Kim Seon-ho said that he was naughty as a teenager and that he ruined two tutoring academies.

The actor explained, “Back then, tutoring was illegal, so I was tutoring at an art academy, but I didn’t want to take classes, so (I) blocked the door so the teacher couldn’t come out, so the teacher was on the second floor. There was a time when he jumped from a school. He didn’t want to be hit, so he threw a stick on the roof of another house. He later caught it.”

Many believed that this interview revealed the truth about Kim Seon-ho’s personality.

Statement from Kim Seon-ho about his past relationship: 20 October 2021

Kim Seon-ho finally released a statement in which he accepted that he was indeed in a relationship with the anonymous woman who had accused him. However, he claimed that his intentions were good and that they had a good relationship. He did not address the accusation that he manipulated his ex-girlfriend into getting an abortion.

He also said that he would like to apologize to her for hurting her.

Statement from Kim Seon-ho's ex-girlfriend redeeming him of all charges: 20 October 2021

After Kim Seon-ho’s statement came out, his ex-girlfriend also released a statement in which she claimed that she would remove the first post that she had published online. She explained that there were just some misunderstandings between her and the actor and said that she received an apology from him.

With his ex-girlfriend’s statement redeeming Kim Seon-ho of all accusations, will the star be able to revive his career? The answer seems clear if one goes by precedents set by other celebrities such as Stray Kids Hyunjin or B.I., who were able to get back on track in a year.

Kim Seon-ho’s future in the industry depends solely on his fans' support as without the same, he will have difficulty signing movies or endorsement deals.

Edited by Siddharth Satish
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