K-pop star Irene has issued a public apology and revealed herself to be the subject of a journalist's recent outcry.
Reportedly on October 20, a fashion editor named Kang Kook Hwa took to social media with allegations about an unnamed female celebrity who she accused of "spewing insults at my face." She further described the encounter as "hell for 20 minutes."
Following the claims, Irene, a 29-year-old member of South Korean girl group Red Velvet, came forward online.
"This is Irene," the singer began in an Oct. 22 Instagram post, which was typed in Korean and has been translated to English. "I sincerely apologize for hurting the stylist with my foolish attitude and careless words and actions."
"I received a lot of help from people who gave their effort for me to get to where I am now," she continued, "and I regret that I hurt them greatly with my immature behavior. This incident has made me look back on the past, and I'm very ashamed of my poor words and actions, and I feel the importance of staff members once again."
She concluded her message vowing to behave better. "I'll think and act more carefully," she declared, "so this does not happen again. I'm truly sorry to the fans who support me and for causing worry because of this incident."
People online began to suspect Irene was the star at the center of Hwa's post given that she concluded her caption with #pyscho and #monster, the names of recent singles from Red Velvet and its subunit, Irene & Seulgi.
In her social media post, Hwa, whose Instagram is currently private, reportedly recalled becoming "speechless as this person stung me with her words that are like electric needles. I had no choice but to stand still with my hands, feet, and even my brain tied together. I had to stand still in front of that repulsive face that was hysterically throwing a fit at me. I had to stand there like a fool without anything I could do."
She continued, "This person did not give me time to understand the situation or even seek understanding from this person. This person didn't even give me a chance to explain because she can't hear anything. I've experienced all sorts of people in this field for 15 years. I thought I had experienced everything in life and thought I had let everything go, but I was wrong."
Hwa did not mince words about her encounter with Irene, telling readers that "this person skipped the greeting and sat right down as this person began spewing insults at my face with her cellphone pointed at me. This person was so emotional that you couldn't know if she's talking to everyone in the room or just me. But either way, the target today was me."
She noted that she "recorded everything" and also shared the thoughts that went through her mind in the midst of the situation, wondering, "'I guess other people experienced this too? They are experiencing it, right?'"
"The knife from her mouth did not stop as I have been stabbed multiple times by her words, and only tears rolled down my face," she continued. "I wasn't even in the right mind to feel embarrassed that I was crying; tears just came out. What am I doing this for? Who am I doing this for? What do I want to show? Is it to earn money? Who chose me? Did someone ask for a favor? Why am I going through such an insult?!"