JYJ Comes Clean About Stalkers

K-pop trio JYJ held a press conference March 8 in Santiago, Chile, ahead of its first South American concert, where they discussed something that’s usually kept under wraps.

Though JYJ met journalists for the purpose of promoting the tour, the group mainly talked about a 2009 incident that recently came to light.

In a video released online, one of the members of the group was shown being struck on the face by a fan as he left a hair salon.

Korean idols are often the target of aggressive fans called “sasaeng,” or stalkers, who go out of their way to invade the privacy of their heroes and sometimes resort to violence when they feel frustrated.

Usually, K-pop idols avoid talking about the problem because it could alienate all fans, but in this instance the members of JYY, who used to belong to K-pop supergroup TVXQ, spoke out.

“[Sasaeng] use our identification to expose our private phone calls and also place GPS trackers on our cars to monitor our every move,” said Kim Junsu. “There were instances of breaking and entering where fans would take pictures of us while sleeping, try to kiss us and steal private items. Some fans even hired taxis to collide with our cars in order to meet us in person.”

Kim added that, due to the stalking, “our lives began to fall apart, since we were always subjected to groping, being touched every moment of the day.”

Another member, Kim Jaejoong, apologized publicly at the press conference because some news articles and uploaded audio files indicate that JYJ members have sometimes reacted violently to the attention. In one, they seem to be cursing fans and even hitting one.

“We want to apologize for our past behavior,” Jaejoong said. “We are sorry that we caused our fans to worry about us and that we forced them to share our pain.”

Several fan sites have noted that the incidents mentioned mostly took place when TVXQ was going through a contentious breakup, and that the members’ behavior may have been caused by more than just overzealous fans.