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Musical 'Frida' continues as actor faces school bullying allegations

By Hwang Dong-hee

Published : Sept. 8, 2023 - 16:20

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Kim Hieora (left) plays Lee Sa-ra in Netflix original series Kim Hieora (left) plays Lee Sa-ra in Netflix original series "The Glory." (Netflix)

Amid allegations of school bullying made against her, Kim Hieora, best known for her role in Netflix series "The Glory," will continue to play her part in "Frida" as scheduled, according to the stage musical's production company EMK Musical on Friday.

Kim, who has been accused of bullying in her middle school years, has denied all such allegations.

Kim plays the titular role of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, as one of three cast in the role in "Frida," which started its run last month.

Her previously scheduled media interviews for Sept. 18 have already been canceled.

Meanwhile, streaming service Coupang Play announced that the "Saturday Night Live Korea" episode featuring Kim as the host, scheduled to air this Saturday, has been pulled. Although it gave no reasons for the cancellation, Coupang Play's announcement came following the reports of school bullying allegations against the actor.

Kim Hieora was scheduled to host Kim Hieora was scheduled to host "Saturday Night Live Korea" on Saturday. (Coupang Play)

Dispatch, a local entertainment news outlet, reported Wednesday that Kim was associated with a notorious school gang infamous for extortion and violence during her middle school years.

Gram Entertainment, which represents Kim, responded, "While it is true that Kim joined a club formed by friends during her middle school days and interacted with its members, all other accusations raised are false."

The agency added that Kim had personally explained the allegations to Dispatch before the report was released and that the media outlet and the actor had agreed the information provided by the tipsters was based on misunderstandings.

Gram Entertainment further said that "the tipsters apologized to Kim" after Dispatch began pursuing the story in May, and "(Dispatch) had been informed of the misunderstanding."

Kim Hieora plays Frida Kahlo in the musical Kim Hieora plays Frida Kahlo in the musical "Frida." (Yonhap)

Kim also took to social media on Wednesday, saying, "Just as I made my appeal with a sincere heart, I will continue to approach this situation honestly and calmly. I extend my heartfelt apologies to those who support and believe in me and to anyone who may have been hurt by my actions. I understand that many people trust me, and I will move forward without any falsehoods."

Kim made her debut on the musical stage in 2009 and gained recognition through appearances in a number of TV drama series. Last year, she especially garnered attention for her role as school bully Lee Sa-ra in Netflix series "The Glory." She also recently appeared in the second season of tvN drama "The Uncanny Counter."