Earlier this week, it emerged that Seo Ye-ji, who played an author with antisocial personality disorder in K-drama hit It’s Okay To Not Be Okay, may actually have some issues in real life.
Leaked text messages from 2018 revealed that she and Crash Landing On You star Kim Jung-hyun were in a relationship while he was working on Korean drama Time, and that she appeared to be a control freak. The two met while starring in 2018 romance Stay With Me.
More shockingly, she seemed to be the reason for his bad behaviour on the set of Time, which led to his co-star on the show, Girls’ Generation’s Seohyun, breaking into tears multiple times, and to him eventually dropping out of the drama, with the show rewritten to accommodate his character naturally falling out of the story. He was also much criticised back in 2018 for being stone-faced and reticent at the press conference for the drama.
Now that these text messages have surfaced, it may shed some light on his behaviour. Seo was apparently an ultra-controlling girlfriend who instructed Kim to avoid all skinship while working on the show, which was problematic since the show was a romance drama. He was told to “refrain from all physical contact” and to “do everything without passion.” He had to report his actions to her, called himself “Stiff Kim” in the messages, and avoid greeting people unnecessarily, especially female staff. She told him that he can only touch her hand. Perhaps worst of all, at least professionally, she told him to adjust the script so it wouldn’t have any romantic scenes or physical contact.
This led to difficulty for the writers and those on set, and particularly Kim’s co-star Seohyun, who reportedly cried a lot, thanks to his rude behaviour. He eventually cited health reasons for dropping out of the show.
In the wake of these allegations, both Kim and Seo’s reputations have taken a hit. Seo, who is up for a Best Actress award for her breakout role in It’s Okay To Not Be Okay at the prestigious upcoming Baeksang Awards, has been dropped from several of her endorsements, and was absent from her press conference for upcoming film Recalled, slated to open in Korea next week. In a big blow to her career, she has also been dropped from the K-drama Island.