A recent photo of AOA member Seolhyun with former member Shin Jimin is making headlines, but not for the reasons you’d think. The two ladies are well-known to be best friends within the industry, as they showed off their close friendship time after time through their social media accounts. They are both so close to each other, in fact, that they got matching tattoos back in 2019.
Back in May 2020, however, Shin Jimin was seemingly blacklisted after another former member Kwon Mina went public with bullying accusations, making claims that she had been bullied by Shin Jimin for 10 years. It wasn’t too long after the allegations that Seolhyun quickly became tangled into the same scrutiny — all because of her close friendship with Shin Jimin.
Fast forward to June 2021, when Seolhyun and Shin Jimin were photographed together after attending an exhibition with one another. It was reported that the two attended Lee Sang Soon‘s photo exhibition “Ray J.Yi X Lee Sang Soon” just a few months ago to support the singer.
Photos from the photo exhibition have been uploaded to different online communities and it was there that netizens noticed a couple of familiar faces.
And while the two’s friendship was previously viewed negatively due to the ongoing controversy, it seems that netizens have changed their perspective. Comments, such as “I’m glad Seolhyun stuck with Jimin during these times”, “I worry more for Jimin than Kwon Mina” and “Seolhyun is a loyal friend who doesn’t leave her friends” have started to fill different online communities after this sticker photograph went live.
This photograph is the first sighting of Shin Jimin since her departure from AOA and retirement from the industry following the bullying accusations. She’s remained out of the spotlight, staying off of her social media to live a non-celebrity life.
Seolhyun has also remained relatively quiet, but started to slowly make her comeback into the industry with her 2020-2021 tvN series Awaken. She also began her very own YouTube channel, where she uploads exciting lifestyle vlogs for all of her followers.