The Korea Herald


YouTube star Tzuyang tells of abuse by ex-boyfriend

By Park Jun-hee

Published : July 11, 2024 - 14:41

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YouTuber Tzuyang (Screenshot capture from YouTube) YouTuber Tzuyang (Screenshot capture from YouTube)

Tzuyang, a South Korean YouTuber with over 10 million subscribers, has revealed she suffered years of abuse from her late ex-boyfriend, including sexual assault and blackmail.

The YouTuber, widely known for "mukbang" -- shows in which streamers talk to their audience while eating -- claimed in a live-streamed video that her former boyfriend had abused her physically and sexually, repeatedly threatened her and extorted money from her.

"I tried to break up with him after witnessing his violent behavior. But he threatened me that he would distribute illegally filmed videos he took of me and physically harmed me using objects like an umbrella," she said.

"He also forced me to work at a bar where he worked and took all of the money I earned there. He hit me twice a day when I said I wanted to quit working," she added, explaining that she had accepted the offer at that time as it was the only other option for her to make money.

The 27-year-old, whose real name is Park Jung-won, claimed she started YouTube in 2018 because her ex-boyfriend's was using threats to coerce her into making money.

But things got worse as she built her streaming career. As the channel gained popularity and success, her ex-boyfriend created a management agency, with which she signed a contract stating that he would take 70 percent of her income as a YouTuber, according to Tzuyang.

"He didn't even uphold that contract, and took all the money. ... I got beaten almost every day and filmed videos. This happened for four years," the YouTuber said.

Tzuyang's legal representatives claimed that the ex-boyfriend had breached the contract as he had failed to pay her at least 4 billion won ($2.9 million).

They added that they had filed a criminal complaint with police against Tzuyang's ex-boyfriend on charges of sexual assault, habitual assaults, threats and injury, blackmail and obscene acts via telecommunications media.

However, the case was closed after the ex-boyfriend took his own life, they said, without elaborating on the exact date.