JYJ apologises over rough treatment of obsessive "sasaeng" fans

SANTIAGO, CHILE: Korean boy band JYJ apologised for their behaviour towards some of their more obsessive fans in the past, during a press conference on Thursday prior to their concert in Chile, reported Korean media.

JYJ has attracted a lot of media attention recently after a Korean media outlet released audio recordings reportedly made sometime in 2009, of the trio reacting negatively toward their obsessive "sasaeng" (Korean for "private life") fans, who invade their privacy in a bid to share a closer relationship with them.

One particularly damaging recording had JYJ member Kim Jaejoong verbally abusing a "sasaeng" fan, before declaring that he had hit "sasaeng" fans numerous times in the past.

The expletive-laden recording also suggested that Kim may have hit the person he was speaking to.

Addressing the issue, Kim expressed remorse for his actions.

"I apologise for the things I have done wrong in the past, I'm sorry that I have upset many fans.

"From now on, regardless of how difficult … the situation is, we will think about the people who love us and fulfil our duty as public figures," said Jaejoong.

However, Jaejoong's JYJ group mates Park Yoochun and Kim Junsu revealed that they reacted negatively to "sasaeng" fans because these fans often go overboard when trying to get closer to their idols.

Junsu claimed that their "sasaeng" fans would track their cars via GPS and would sometimes break into their homes to photograph their personal belongings.

"They ('sasaeng' fans) even tried to kiss me while I was sleeping and caused a minor accident between our car and the taxi they were pursuing us in, just to see my face," recounted Kim Junsu, adding that he lived in fear every day.

"It's like living in a prison without bars," said Park, of how he felt about being hounded relentlessly by "sasaeng" fans since the band's debut in 2004.

Opinion is divided among JYJ's fans about their treatment of their "sasaeng" fans.

Some have expressed disappointment over JYJ's behaviour, while others believe that JYJ's actions are justified as these fans sometimes exhibit extreme behaviour, citing a recent video that showed Park being slapped in the face by a "sasaeng" fan.


Source: Channel News Asia

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Justin Vawter Greco Buenagua *

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