When the cameras are off, K-pop star hopeful Nam So-hyun has the daunting reputation of being the bully of the schoolyard; at least, that is what the “K-pop Star 4” contestant and high school student is being publicly accused of by her former classmate ― being a money-taking verbal tormentor.
With the fourth season of the popular TV singing audition program recently rolling out, 18-year-old Nam already finds herself in hot water, as it is not her singing talent that is igniting her growing reputation.
Earlier this week, one netizen who claims to be a former elementary and middle school classmate of Nam accused the contestant of faking her innocent and sweet on-camera image, stating that the singer had caused her great emotional distress in the past by extorting money from her and her friends on countless occasions.
“Nam So-hyun forced her juniors to give her money … she forced us to sell her used clothes, and if we were unable to do so, we had to use our own money and buy them from her,” the netizen wrote in one of her online posts.
A screen capture of “K-pop Star 4” contestant Nam So-hyun. (SBS)
The alleged victim of Nam’s bullying said she could no longer keep quiet and decided to publish her first post via Nate Pann on Monday, where she claimed that the “real” Nam was a bully who smoked, drank and used threats to extort money from younger schoolmates.
The postings sparked widespread public interest, leading to a myriad of both defensive and critical comments about Nam. Some stated that Nam should not be penalized for her past, while others argued that if the accusations turn out to be true, then she should be expelled from “K-pop Star.”
“When I first heard that Nam So-hyun was going to participate in ‘K-Pop Star 4,’ I was at a loss for words,” the netizen wrote in her second posting on Wednesday. “Some people may say that the past is the past and it shouldn’t matter if no one was harmed, but she did cause a lot of harm to me and others.”
Following the rumors, one of Nam’s current high school teachers came to her defense, referring to her as a “model student.”
“I do not know if there is any truth to the accusations,” the teacher told a local media outlet on Wednesday. “Nam So-hyun seems to get along well with her classmates and her friends and I have not noticed any problems.”
A representative of SBS’ “K-pop Star” said they are currently looking into the validity of the accusations, which may in turn lead to a decision on whether or not Nam may be asked to leave the show.
Nam is the younger sister of Nam Young-joo, who made it to the Top 10 round of last year’s “K-Pop Star 3” and has since made her music debut under JJHolic Media.
By Julie Jackson (firstname.lastname@example.org)