Being a K-pop idol can have its dark side, as Kong Yoo-jin, 19, former lead vocalist of the South Korean girl group BONUSbaby, has revealed. Kong, who was signed up by a talent agency at the age of 15, claims she had her mobile phone confiscated, her parents’ visits were timed and she had to follow an extreme diet that involved being weighed up 10 times a day. On top of this, she recalled having to practise dancing and singing for hours on end. Even when group members were sick, they had to go on stage and perform in exactly the manner their agent demanded, she claimed. Koo also said there was also no freedom or privacy. The lonely life of a K-pop idol: No freedom, no privacy Kong made her show business debut at 17, with the release of the group’s debut single Urikiri – meaning “all by ourselves” in Korean – in January 2017. However, she says she left the six-member group in September 2018 to devote herself to her “studies”. Since then the band has stopped performing. Want more stories like this? Sign up here . Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter This article was originally written by Dong Sun-hwa for The Korea Times . Video by Lee Min-young and Kim Kang-min.