CNBLUE‘s Yonghwa has admitted he was admitted into a prestigious Korean university because of his idol status – despite failing to show up for two entrance interviews
SBS News were first to expose the scandal in a blind item, forcing the singer to come forward and admit that he had gained entrance to Kyung Hee University after his aunt, a professor at the school, had helped him get fast tracked.
The school’s administrative department and Yonghwa’s aunt are now being investigated by authorities.
In an emotional Instagram post and handwritten note, Yonghwa asked for his fans for forgiveness, writing, “First of all, I sincerely bow my head in apology. No matter what the reason, no matter what the truth is, I know everything is my fault and I am deeply sorry.”
“I will humbly accept everything said about me. I am sincerely sorry for embarrassing and disappointing my family, my members, and my fans who have believed in me and cherished me. I know it will be difficult to touch your heart with any words or writing, but I want to say I am sorry once again. I am sorry for taking your time away with a post like this.”
FNC Entertainment have confirmed that the singer has now stepped down as the co-host of Olive TV‘s Talk Mon show and also cancel the press night for his forthcoming 2018 Jung Yong Hwa Live [Room 622] in Seoul concert on January 21.
The company also released a long statement regarding the case, which you can read in full below:
“Recently, Yonghwa and a staff of our label were investigated because of the issue around Yonghwa being accepted to the Kyunghee University’s Applied Arts’ graduate doctorate program.
Yonghwa was recommended multiple times by the school, and applied to the Kyunghee University’s Applied Arts’ graduate doctorate program in January of 2017 during the additional acceptance round.
Popular celebrities such as idols have their schedules planned by the label since they are busy due to concerts and other things, and celebrities move according to that schedule. Similarly, the label took care of Yonghwa’s application including filling out his forms, submitting them, and contacting the school.
Both the label and Yonghwa believed that he was undergoing the normal application process until the situation became problematic. Yonghwa believed that the individual interview was the regular process, and he attended the interview as the label scheduled.
Yonghwa was investigated by the police because of this issue. The label and Yonghwa did not have any objectives of getting preferential treatment and breaking the school rules; we are very sorry for causing a controversy. After the issue became problematic, he is currently taking a break from the school.
Additionally, Yonghwa applied to the Applied Arts’ graduate masters program in fall of 2016, but was denied admission due to a mistake on his application. However, the school continued to recommend to the label that Yonghwa should apply to the additional application because the school was lacking students, so Yonghwa applied in January, 2017.
We heard from the professor that the school was trying to gather more students, and that they were trying to get even just one more student to fill up the classes. The professor wished for Yonghwa to apply to the school, to help the school.
There was no competition and all the students who applied through the additional application in 2017 were accepted. Yonghwa was not accepted unfairly into a difficult process, and he has no reasons to do so as a popular celebrity. (If he knew that it was unlawful for him to be personally contacted for an interview and that he was supposed to get interviewed at the school, he would have attended by making time, and we would not have done something that would be such a critical damage to his image as a public figure.)
The label will take all responsibility on this situation, and we apologize once again for the trouble.”