Jo Byung-gyu denies all bullying allegations against him
Actor Jo Byung-gyu denied allegations he was a bully while in school via a statement posted on his Instagram page in the early hours of Tuesday, saying that all the false allegations are currently being investigated upon his request.
“I was so dumbfounded when the first allegation came up, because I was wrongly accused,” said the actor in his statement.
“Posts with malicious intentions [accusing me of bullying] have been made, and I’m shocked that they are perceived to be true just because they include random photos and accusations.”
A series of allegations accusing Jo of physical assault, verbal abuse and taking money from schoolmates have been posted online since Feb 16.
The actor expressed the mental toll the allegations have taken on him. “Due to untrue claims and rebuttals on the internet, I have become skeptical and disillusioned with the 26 years of my life,” he said.
Jo claimed that while he did attend the same middle school in New Zealand as one of the accusers, he had never even met the accuser, let alone beat him up. The accuser took and used photos of Jo in New Zealand from another alumnus without permission, Jo claims.
“I was a playful, happy-go-lucky student who dreamed of becoming a soccer player,” Jo said. “I didn’t get along with every classmate, just like any other person, but I have never assaulted or stolen from anyone.”
Jo went on to say that he requested all the anonymous allegations be investigated, and that his accuser has since deleted his posts and is begging Jo to handle the case leniently via his acquaintances.
“The accuser was not forced or threatened to apologize and take the posts down,” stressed Jo.
“I don’t know why I have to defend myself every time I become a target of a volatile accusation,” Jo said. “I can’t bear getting accused of things I did not do because of a few photos and words.”
Jo debuted in the TV series “Who Are You: School 2015” (2015) and starred in popular TV series “SKY Castle” (2018-19), “Hot Stove League” (2019-20) and “The Uncanny Counter” (2020-21).
BY HALEY YANG [firstname.lastname@example.org]