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Friday, December 1, 2023

‘The Glory’ actor Kim Hieora admits being school bullying bystander, denies other accusations

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Actor Kim Hieora poses for the cameras at Baeksang Arts Awards in April, at Incheon [NEWS1]
Actor Kim Hieora poses for the cameras at Baeksang Arts Awards in April, at Incheon [NEWS1]

“The Glory” actor Kim Hieora on Wednesday admitted that she was a bystander to school bullying as a middle school student but denied ever taking part.

“It is true that I was part of Parksangji, but I never actually took part in their actions,” she told Dispatch. “Of course, I am not saying that I am free of any responsibilities. I lived as a bystander.”

Parksangji is the name of her friend group in middle school.

“I would like to apologize,” she said.

Dispatch reported that Kim, in 2004, stole from classmates and committed verbal and physical violence, quoting interviews with those who say they were victims. Some told the news outlet that Kim sent them on cigarette errands and took money from them. It also reported that Kim was ordered to do community service for her theft.

Kim denied allegations of theft, physical violence and verbal abuse to Dispatch.

“I never hit anyone,” she said.

“I had white skin, brown eyes and a weird name,” Kim added. “For me, it was either to get the attention or get bullied. I rationalized my behavior by thinking I had to become stronger to avoid people making fun of me.

“I once saw on [‘The Glory’s] comment section that said they would be scared if someone like Yeonjin simply walked past them, even if she doesn’t hit,” she said. “I think I was very full of anger back then.”

Kim’s agency Gram Entertainment said on the same day that it would shortly release Kim’s official statement.

Kim’s appearance on “SNL Korea” slated for this month has been canceled following the accusations.

Kim is currently starring as the lead in the musical “Frida.” She also recently appeared in season two of Korean drama “The Uncanny Counter,” which aired its final episode on Sunday.

Debuting as a musical theater actor in 2009, she has starred as the lead in over a dozen shows and recently made her mark on the small screen through the supporting role of the Netflix show “The Glory.”

BY LEE JIAN [lee.jian@joongang.co.kr]