Ah, to be young, in love and in a scandal

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Ah, to be young, in love and in a scandal

Love can destroy everything. At least this was the case for Eugene, a sought-after celebrity of S.E.S, the dance group that has since disbanded.
Better known for her looks than for her voice, the prim 22-year old seemed to be the last person to get involved in a scandal when a rumor spread that she was dating Park Yong-ha, a 26-year-old TV actor with whom Eugene starred in the mini-series “Loving You.”
Eugene firmly denied the coupling ― until last week, at least, when a snapshot of Eugene cooing Mr. Park floated around the Internet, causing a fuss about town.
Eugene quickly swallowed her words. After all, the photo showed her sitting on her beau’s lap, legs outstretched, obviously having fun. A computer hacker who finagled his way into Mr. Park’s e-mail distributed the photo, taken at an actor’s housewarming.
Sure, it was an invasion of privacy, but such was not the issue. The matter of concern was not an invasion of one’s constitutional rights but public censure of the rather provocative pose in the photo. Web surfers flooded online bulletin boards with opinionated remarks. One person wrote, “Considering the pose, Eugene has crossed the line with Mr. Park;” another stated, “The loose posture is nothing but disappointing.”
Jeong Hae-ik, Eugene’s agent, sided with the Internet crowd. “This is something too embarrassing, not to mention unacceptable. I’m so annoyed and disappointed that I don’t ever want to think about it again.” Mr. Park on the other hand, left the message “My heart will go on, no matter what” on his fan mail Web site. Others do sympathize with Eugene’s predicament, among them Ahn Jeong-ho, a 25-year old graduate student. “Eugene is also a human being,” says Mr. Ahn. “I think people are making a big hoopla over nothing.” A long-time Eugene enthusiast, Mr. Ahn adds that the photo was far from offensive.
The biggest victim of this leak, however, is neither the talent agency nor Mr. Park; it’s Eugene. Her talent agency allegedly asked her to decide between her lover and show business. Her album, originally set for a June release, has been shelved. “The album will come out when time permits,” Mr. Jeong says.
Eugene has kept a low profile all the while. Her sole appearance is on the TV serial “Love Story,” airing Mondays at 11 p.m. on KBS-TV.
As if the scandalous Eugene snapshot were not enough to satiate the public’s appetite, a second scandal, this one involving the Japanese actress Yumin and Korean singer Kim Jeong-hun, has surfaced.
A recent debut on the Korean entertainment scene, Yumin has stealthily been seeing Mr. Kim, a Seoul National University dropout. The couple’s recent get-together in Tokyo was discovered and now it was time for Yumin’s talent agency to flare up.
“It’s not that we are against her seeing somebody,” says Han Seung-wan, Yumin’s manager. “The problem is that she kept going out with someone secretly, lying to us. She and Mr. Kim could have had a press conference to announce their love ― I’m all for that.”
Well, at least Mr. Han knows celebrities are people too, but why bother with a grand press conference just to be a couple? Yumin, however, came clean and reportedly has promised that it wouldn’t happen again. It seems the Bee Gees were right in their classic oldie “How Deep Is Your Love,” chanting “‘Cause we’re living in a world of fools, breakin’ us down when they all should let us be.”


by Chun Su-jin
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