Earlier in May 2021, actress Han Ye Seul surprised her fans by revealing her boyfriend via an Instagram update. Shortly after the reveal, Korean press YTN shared that the 1991-born Ryu Sung Jae used to be an actor, though he has since stepped down from the stage and is currently living as a non-celebrity.
Following the media attention, Han Ye Seul took to Instagram again confirming that she is 10 years older than her boyfriend — which led her to give him the endearing nickname of “puppy.” Han Ye Seul’s friends and fans, including rapper Heize and fellow actress Park Eun Hye, congratulated her on the new relationship and celebrated her level of unparalleled confidence to open it up to the public in pursuit of happiness.
The reveal, however, also attracted negativity — specifically from YouTuber Kim Yong Ho, who introduces himself as a “a former major newspaper editor and a hard-nosed warrior in the media field.” On the YouTube channel, Garo Sero Institute, Kim Yong Ho accused the former actor and boyfriend of having been a male escort in the past. He quoted the Korean movie Beasty Boys and hinted that Ryu Sung Jae comes from a similar background. And though he provided no evidence, the rumor began spreading quickly.
When Han Ye Seul came across the rumor, she immediately snapped back at Kim Yong Ho via an Instagram story. She scoffed at the accusation, calling it “a work of fiction” to come from the YouTuber’s head.
Um… 🤣 Sir… This is such a work of fiction though. 🤣 You and I need to go for a drink [and talk]!
— Han Ye Seul
Unfortunately, as the rumor continued to circulate, Han Ye Seul decided to personally address and confront Kim Yong Ho in a recent Instagram live broadcast. Expressing her agitation at the YouTube video, Han Ye Seul claimed that while she has dealt with a fair share of rumors during her 20 years as an actress, the rumor about her boyfriend “feels like a personal attack to leave [her] dead for good.”
Is it my retirement that you’d like to get out of this? Why are you doing this to me? How do I even react to this? Who’s going to compensate me when these YouTube videos destroy my reputation as an actress that I’ve built for the past 20 years? I wanted to brush it off with a laugh. I wanted it to die down on its own. But it won’t and now I want to know why me? … I don’t want to go to court. I’m not looking for a legal battle. Do you know how many times I’ve dealt with rumors and gossip during my time as an actress? I always thought of them as what comes with my career. But this… This feels like a personal attack to leave me dead for good. Why do you despise me so much?!
— Han Ye Seul
The actress also apologized to her boyfriend for having become part of a nasty rumor.
I feel terrible and sorry for my boyfriend. He didn’t have to go through this. It’s because he’s dating someone who happens to be a celebrity… I would have stayed quiet in the past. But times have changed and I feel like I can say what’s on my mind now. Anyway, I don’t know why [Kim Yong Ho] came for me but I’m so baffled. I would love to talk it out and just bring this to an end.
— Han Ye Seul
The live broadcast brought in a flood of love and support for the couple. Feeling protected by her friends and fans, Han Ye Seul deleted the broadcast and left a more positive update on her feed — reassuring everyone that she’ll take legal action against all malicious commenting that pesters her.
My friends and fans got really worried about the live broadcast so I decided to take it down. 😅 But here’s a cute picture of us instead, to wrap up the day. Thank you for believing in me and supporting us. 🥰 Also, I can’t read all the comments that I got… but if you could screenshot the malicious ones and send them to me later for defamation, I’d really appreciate that.
— Han Ye Seul
This is not the first time YouTuber Kim Yong Ho and his channel has been problematic for celebrities. Back in 2019, the channel received a tremendous amount of criticism for slandering against comedian Yoo Jae Suk. Koreans have since continued to push for the channel’s removal — though it remains unshaken with 65K+ subscribers.