K-pop star ends relationship weeks after it sparked backlash from fans


After apologizing last month for a new relationship That angered some particularly lively fans, K-pop star Karina is single again, highlighting the long-standing challenges of dating in the fervent Korean entertainment fan space.

Karina, of girl group Aespa, and actor Lee Jae-wook separated after going public five weeks ago, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap, citing statements from the couple’s respective representatives.

Lee’s agency, C-JeS Studios, said he had ended the relationship to focus on work, “leaving them as mutually supportive colleagues,” Yonhap reported.

The agencies had confirmed their relationship in late February, a rare case of K-pop singers coming out publicly in an industry where stars, known as idols, face heavy scrutiny and pressure from some fans.

Karina came under fire after the news broke: some fans sent a truck with an electronic billboard to the headquarters of Karina’s agency, according to the Chosun Ilbo newspaper. “Don’t you get enough love from your fans?” she read she. “Why did you decide to betray your fans?”

“Please apologize directly. Otherwise, we will see a drop in album sales and empty seats for concerts,” he added.

Shortly after, Karina followed suit with a handwritten letter posted on Instagram, apologizing to her followers and promising to “show more maturity and work harder for everyone (my fans) without disappointment.”

Not all fans were upset; Many expressed their support for Karina and Lee, arguing that stars also deserve to have private lives and personal relationships.

But that wasn’t always the case. In the past, K-pop stars who went public with their relationships faced strong public backlash, which sometimes affected their professional careers and contracts. As a result, record labels have long imposed strict rules on their stars, limiting their ability to date publicly and promoting the fantasy of accessible, out-of-touch celebrities.

There have been some signs of change in recent years, with attitudes slowly changing among both fans and agencies. In particular, the agencies black Rose Singer Jisoo and actor Ahn Bo-hyun confirmed last year that They were dating.

But as the poster incident demonstrated, the taboo persists, and although Karina and Lee’s statements made no mention of the controversy, fans were quick to blame the incident for the end of their relationship.

“I am really disappointed and I don’t understand why two people who love each other should break up because of the fans. Your private life is no one’s business except the parties involved. “This is really disgusting,” reads one of the top comments on Karina’s most recent Instagram post this week.

Another commenter wrote: “Next time you date someone, you will NOT post an apology!”

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