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[Newsmaker] Park Yu-chun apologizes on air for lying about drug use last year

Park Yu-chun apologizes during an interview on Channel A’s “Heard Through the Grapevine.” (Screen capture from Channel A’s YouTube channel)
Park Yu-chun apologizes during an interview on Channel A’s “Heard Through the Grapevine.” (Screen capture from Channel A’s YouTube channel)

Park Yu-chun, an actor and a member of K-pop group, JYJ, apologized for having lied about the drug charges against him last year in a TV interview aired on Monday. He said he had lost “rational judgement” when he swore to leave the entertainment industry if found guilty.

“I really regret that I lied (about using drugs), and I still wonder ‘What if I had told the truth to people and sincerely asked for forgiveness (instead of insisting on innocence),’” Park said in the TV interview which aired as part of Channel A’s “Heard Through the Grapevine.”

The interview followed recent controversy over Park resuming entertainment activities earlier this year despite his pledge at a press conference last year that he would leave the industry if found guilty on the drug charges against him. Park was suspected of using methamphetamine with his ex-girlfriend Hwang Ha-na, but strongly insisted innocence.

After the press conference, Park tested positive for the drug and was sentenced in July 2019 to 10 months in jail, suspended for two years. C-JeS Entertainment, Park’s management company, terminated its contract with him, citing “Park has hurt mutual trust with the company.”

Despite having sworn to cease activities as a celebrity, Park opened official social media channels and published a photobook, “Someday” in March. He also created an official website, named “BLUE CIELO,” in April, which requires an annual membership payment of 6,6000 won to join, spurring public criticism.

“(Mentioning about retirement) was an extreme decision. I was out of my mind at the time and lost rational judgement gripped by fear about my future,” Park said in the interview.

“There are some people who still support me, and I was loved so much for the past 17 years as a celebrity. I just wanted to return their love by sharing my up-to-date status,” Park said in the interview. “I sincerely apologize for my past wrongdoing and will show my fans how I am living my life fully.”

Park debuted in 2004 as a member of TVXQ, a K-Pop boy group, earning huge popularity in Asia. After leaving the group in 2010, he formed another boy group, JYJ, and launched an acting career, starring in TV dramas such as “Sungkyunkwan Scandal.”

In 2016, Park was accused of raping women at his house and bars, but was acquitted.

By Park Yuna (yunapark@heraldcorp.com)

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