Top K-pop girl group Girls' Generation has made headlines again.
But this time for the wrong reasons.
On Tuesday, Seoul's Yongsan Police Station stated that Girls' Generation member Kim Hyoyeon, 24, was investigated twice on Sunday and Monday for assault.
Kim's male friend had reportedly accused her of assaulting him and hitting him near the eye early Saturday morning.
The duo were "playing" at a friend's house in the Seoul neighbourhood of Seobbinggo, when Kim allegedly said she was going to jump off the building.
It was unclear which floor they were on when the incident happened.
The male friend held her back, but was pushed away and hit by Kim in the scuffle. He then made a police report for assault.
During the police investigation later on, he said: "I called the police, saying I got hit while we were playing around, but after I thought about it again, I don't think she hit me on purpose."
The Yongsan Police Station released a statement confirming that a report had been filed, but no further action was taken because of the minor circumstances.
Reacting to the incident, Girls' Generation's agency SM Entertainment released a statement on Tuesday, saying: "It seems that a misunderstanding happened between Hyoyeon and an acquaintance while they were goofing around that lead to a police report.
"The misunderstanding has been promptly cleared with the acquaintance, and the incident has been resolved. We received a warning from the police not to joke around too much, and we will take care to prevent future misunderstandings."
After the news broke in Korea, netizens went wild with the theory that Kim was attempting suicide and that the male friend is actually her rumoured boyfriend Jay Joonhyung Kim, who works at boutique marketing agency Seoulcialite and whose social circle includes K-pop celebrities, DJs and musicians.
The pair were spotted shopping together in Hong Kong and partying in nightclubs in Thailand last year, sparking rumours that they are dating.
Kim is best known for her dancing skills in Girls' Generation, and has stood out in promotional images the past few years with her blonde hair.
The latest incident comes at a bad time for the A-list act, who made their highly-anticipated comeback in late February with the title track of their new album Mr.Mr. They ended their promotional activities for the song last Sunday.
There is talk that Girls' Generation's top dog status is being challenged, especially since other popular K-pop girl groups, 2NE1 and 4Minute, were stealing their thunder with new material released during the same period, leading to stiff competition on the music charts.
Kim's action is one of the most sensational things to happen to the squeaky clean image of the group so far, as it involves the police.
Kim fan Jolene Lee told The New Paper: "I would never believe that Hyoyeon would attack someone. It could have been a misunderstanding and the guy is blowing up it up because it involves Girls' Generation."
The 21-year-old dance instructor added: "This incident will hit Girls' Generation's image on the whole, and Hyoyeon's popularity might drop."
Girls' Generation fan Niew Yan Ling, 21, said: "The whole news is just ridiculous.
"I believe that Hyoyeon was just playing around with the guy, and it's not as serious as what's being reported.
"If it was some other less famous girl group, I don't think the news will be so huge."
This article was published on April 3 in The New Paper.
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