MBC radio revealed more stories of Ji Soo’s victims, causing the public to be shocked.
In early March, Korean netizens were shocked by the news that Ji Soo was accused of bullying his classmates, sexually harassing, even peeking in the class. The series of scandals caused Ji Soo to be kicked out of the movie “River Where The Moon Rises”. The actor then rushed to enlist in the army.
Until now, MBC has even directly investigated the case and met the victims through the program True Story. The victim’s confession has made the public even more angry. Netizens are extremely shocked because the actor, who has received the public’s love for many years, often abused and sexually harassed his classmates like that. More annoying, this actor was also accused of masturbating right next to his classmates.
Victim ‘A’ said: “I think it’s extremely ironic that Ji Soo is pursuing a career that requires the love and support from people… when he used to bully and harass them. It infuriates me. And it’s incredibly difficult for me to see him [on TV]. I’ve never been able to look at him straight in the face. I still remember the way he’d smile [while bullying]… but to see that smile on TV?”
One of Ji Soo’s middle school classmates, referred to as “B” in the show, explained that Ji Soo had often ordered him to buy him bread and snacks from the school cafeteria and that he usually had to use his own money to pay for them. “I was his ‘bread shuttle’ (빵셔틀, a person bullied for snacks and/or snack money). He would make me bring back snacks from the school market. And if I didn’t make it back within minutes, he beat me up. I had to pay for all his snacks out of pocket… He would call me on my cellphone and say things like, ‘Be sure to bring some money tomorrow.’ And at first, it started off with small amounts like ₩5,000 KRW (about $4.43 USD) or ₩10,000 KRW (about $8.85 USD)… but then it eventually became ₩50,000 KRW (about $44.30 USD) and ₩100,000 KRW (about $88.50 USD).”
B also revealed that Ji Soo did not fear the teachers at all: “Ji Soo was a big guy. He was over 180cm (5’9″). He was really tall for his age and he intimidated everyone in his class as if he was the king. Ji Soo was extremely malicious in his ways. Eventually, I had to start taking his quizzes and tests for him. His group of bullies did not fear the teachers. I think that really made them unstoppable. They would keep picking on new targets. So in the end everyone kind of agreed, ‘There’s no point in reporting their bullying to the school because nothing will change.’”
Ji Soo’s next victim, called C for short, revealed he was the actor’s ‘clown’ at school, and was bullied so much that he couldn’t go to school anymore.
“He would kick me in the butt or thighs, strike me on the head, slap my face, or punch me in the chest or in the pit of the stomach. He gave me missions. For example, to get up during class and sing or dance. Basically, I was his jester. He sat in the back row in class, so he used me as a shield when he slept. If my posture was just a bit off, he hit me on the back of the head.”
Schoolmate C also recalled a time he ran into Ji Soo on the subway, years after the bullying. Though three years had passed, he remained “terrified” of Ji Soo because of the painful memories of bullying he had endured during middle school. “But I still got goosebumps all over my body… I stood there with my head down because I was terrified.”, said victim ‘C’. Ji Soo immediately came over and talked, even smiled, and asked C: “Don’t you know me?”.
Victims D and E were not directly bullied by Ji Soo, but the memories of school days are still terrifying for them. They said that Ji Soo used to be an “iljin” in class, but by the second year of high school, the actor was scouted by more notorious seniors, thereby abusing his power.
“You wouldn’t believe how structural the bullies were. Ji Soo belonged to the highest tier, the strongest bullies. And they had ‘minions,’ or second tier bullies, who would do the actual dirty work… They ran the school. So if you did anything to go against those groups, you would become an ostracized outcast or you would be physically bullied.” – D and E shared.
Lastly, Ji Soo’s schoolmates from elementary school — Schoolmate F and G — surfaced, verifying via the program’s interview that there was, indeed, sexual harassment involved in Ji Soo’s list of school violence. Although F was not a direct victim, he witnessed Ji Soo sexually harass male students while on a camping trip: “During the trip, the boys will be assigned to the dorm rooms. And there, he sexually harassed some of the male students in the room. Everyone assigned to Ji Soo’s room witnessed this. But… we couldn’t stop him because we got scared we would become targets too.”
G is a female student in the same class as Ji Soo and was directly sexually harassed by the actor. She recalled: “At first, it wasn’t as serious and mostly verbal. But as time passed and we spent more time together (in the same classroom), he became more explicit in his ways. He put a plastic bag over my head. And he said something like, ‘We can have (censored, assumed to be “sex”) at night with the lights off.’ He literally put a plastic bag over my head. I also saw him masturbating in his seat next to me during class time.”
When MBC’s True Story team reached out to Ji Soo about the interviews done by his schoolmates, the actor sent a written statement instead — denying all the allegations. “It is true that when I was in school, I hung out with bully friends. I was foolish and thought I had a lot of power in my hands. But I did not make anyone an outcast, force anyone to buy me things or bring me money, ask anyone to take my quizzes and tests, or harass anyone sexually. None of that is true. If they would let me, I would like to apologize to everyone whom I’ve hurt.”
Currently, the incident is still a hot topic on Korean websites. Despite the denial, with the wave of boycott, Ji Soo’s career seems to have been completely ruined. The actor announced that he will soon enlist this year, but in the public eye, this is just an action to avoid the scandal.