5 times K-pop idols were swindled or betrayed by agency staff: BTS and Seventeen had their personal info leaked, Blackpink’s Lisa had money stolen, and Momoland’s Nancy was filmed undressing
K-pop idols are constantly surrounded by their agency staff – whether it’s wardrobe stylists, managers, make-up artists or otherwise. And considering the sheer amount of time they have to spend together, many end up developing strong bonds over time.
But it’s not always smooth sailing, and sometimes, staff members take advantage of their idol’s trust to make cash through swindling or paparazzi payments in exchange for unauthorised photos or gossip. As a result, it’s no surprise that some idols are more reluctant than they used to be when it comes to relying on their backstage team.
So, which unlucky K-pop stars were betrayed by their most trusted?
The manager repaid part of the money and left YG Entertainment, with an agreement to pay the rest later. YG released a statement expressing its shock, saying it was committed to taking measures to prevent anything similar happening in the future.
In 2019, Momoland’s Nancy became the victim of a hidden camera crime committed by one of her own staff, and understandably, fans were furious. Though the photos of her spread through social media were reportedly Photoshopped, it was still undeniably a violation of her privacy.
The photos were reportedly taken while she was changing outfits during the 2019 Asia Artist Awards and MLD Entertainment quickly responded, promising legal action against both the staff member and those who spread the photo. The AAA organisation committee also released a statement, prioritising Nancy’s well-being and protection, as reported by Koreaboo.
A former sasaeng fan of the group mentioned that one of their methods of gaining the members’ private information – such as where they’re staying and their filming schedules – was through Big Hit staff themselves.
Super Junior’s Yesung
In 2009, Super Junior’s vocalist Yesung had to take a break from activities due to health issues, and while he was at home alone, he caught the group’s then-manager trying to steal gifts fans had given them, and even tried to take some members’ belongings, according to Koreaboo.
Yesung called fellow member Leeteuk for help because he lived in the same building at the time. It was revealed that the manager had been collecting some of the members’ belongings and gifts – nabbing everything from scarves to watches, per K-pop Starz.
The CEO released an apology and pledged to punish and further train the company’s employees, and also thanked fans who initially raised the alarm, even providing evidence to prove its staff’s misdeeds.
- K-pop idols can’t always trust managers – Blackpink’s Lisa lost US$761,000, while Super Junior’s Yesung called Leeteuk when their personal belongings were nabbed
- Employees of Bang Si-hyuk’s Big Hit Entertainment have been accused of selling out BTS by passing their schedules to ‘sasaeng’ fans – Seventeen suffered the same