Aespa’s Karina, actor Lee Jae-wook split five weeks after going public with relationship


By AGENCY

The former couple's romance reveal had sparked backlash among angry fans. Photos: Prada/Instagram

Another South Korean celebrity couple has called it quits just weeks after going public with their relationship.

Hot on the heels of the March 30 announcement that actor Ryu Jun-yeol and actress Han So-hee had parted ways a mere two weeks after making their romance official, Karina of K-pop girl group Aespa and actor Lee Jae-wook have broken up five weeks after acknowledging they were dating.

“Lee decided to end the relationship to focus on the work that he is filming, leaving them as colleagues who support each other,” his agency C-JeS Studios said in a press statement, according to Yonhap News Agency.

Karina’s agency, SM Entertainment, confirmed the split.

Karina, 23, and Lee, 25, confirmed their relationship on Feb 27, when news of them dating was reported by South Korean publication Dispatch.

The pair had been seeing each other since they met at the Prada Fall/Winter 2024 men’s collection fashion show in Milan, Italy, on Jan 14.

But their romance reveal sparked a backlash. Angry fans reportedly sent “protest trucks” to SM Entertainment’s headquarters in Seoul that displayed messages accusing Karina of “betraying” them and that dating would “ruin” her career.

The South Korean singer, who debuted as a member of Aespa in 2020, posted a handwritten apology to the Aespa fandom, known as MY, on social media on March 5.

“Despite the risk that this letter could again hurt your feelings, I’m writing it to sincerely apologise to my fans who have gifted me with the warmest days since my debut,” she wrote in Korean, according to a translation by The Korea Herald. “I hope to heal your feelings. I’ve always been truthful to MYs and each of you is still very important to me.”

South Korean media outlet TenAsia, which broke the news of the break-up on April 2, said Karina and Lee arrived at the decision due to the pain caused by the negative comments and the guilt they felt towards fans.

Two days after Lee and Karina went public with their relationship, C-JeS Studios said it was aware of false rumours about his love life and warned that he would take legal action. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network

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