Ex-T-ARA singer Areum reportedly under investigation for child abuse and neglect

Former T-ARA singer Areum is reportedly currently under police investigation on charges of the alleged abuse, exploitation and neglect of her two children.

South Korean news outlet Korea JoongAng Daily reported on June 4 that the Gwangmyeong Police Station in Gyeonggi had handed Areum over to the Ansan branch of the Suwon Prosecutors’ Office on charged of the alleged the abuse, exploitation and neglect of her two children.

Her mother is also said to be involved and is being simultaneously investigated on exploitation charges, with both women reportedly being barred from making contact with Areum’s sons.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office had previously dismissed the case in early-May, after police failed to find corroborating evidence against either party.


However, the publication reports that experts had concluded that Areum’s claims against her ex-husband were as “not reliable” after analysing testimonies by the two children. The outlet reports that Lee is now being suspected of pressuring her children into making such statements about their father.

Investigations into Areum first began after her ex-husband, businessman Kim Young-gul, filed a complaint to police against her and her mother in February this year. The case was later handed from the authorities to prosecutors following a three-month preliminary investigation.

Areum has since filed counter-complaints against her ex-husband, whom she married in 2019. She told authorities that he had “[thrown] the child who was less than a year old out of his bed and hit, pushed and kicked his five-year-old son out of the house”.


Areum’s allegations were also made public on her social media, where she also accused her former husband of being involved in gambling and prostitution. At the time, the singer made posts saying she had “lived in such immense pain” and that she had “much proof to show”.

In late March, Areum was hospitalised after she was found unconscious as after trying to take her own life a day after making her accusations public. A suicide note was reportedly discovered, however she later addressed her hospitalisation and suicide attempt on Instagram following her recovery.

“I remembered my loved ones, children, family and friends at the brink of death,” she said in her first public update since her hospitalisation. “After realising I might never see them again, I desperately wanted to live, so I held on and regained consciousness.”

Areum made her debut as a K-pop idol in 2012 as a member of the K-pop girl group T-ARA. She would later form the sub-unit T-ARA N4 with Eunjung, Hyomin and Jiyeon in April 2013, before leaving both groups in July of the same year.


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