The planned comeback of Korean boy group NU'EST has hit a snag after member Baekho, also known as Kang Dong Ho, was accused of sexual assault by a woman, who said it happened eight years ago.
NU'EST is gearing up to return to the music scene following their participation in the Korean survival TV show "Produce 101." But that is being threatened by the sexual assault accusation.
The unnamed woman said only surfaced now because of "Produce 101."
"At the time, Kang Dong Ho was not as popular as he is now, and he mostly promoted overseas, so I had not been hearing about him through the press or through other acquaintances. But recently, as Kang Dong Ho gathered attention through 'Produce 101,' I had to see him on TV and on social media like Facebook," she said, according to Soompi.
She added, "News about him continued to come up, and I had to live in pain everyday. I was angry that I had to go through this, and I posted on [the community] despite being unprepared."
The woman claimed that in 2009, she and Baekho were coming home from a private educational institution when he assaulted her in a bus.
"At first, he sat next to me, saying 'It's cold,' and grabbed my hand. I was suspicious, but he was a close acquaintance, so I smiled and said, 'I'm cold too!' The bus took off, and he put his bag on my lap. I thought he was telling me to hold it for him, but he touched my thigh," she said.
She claimed Baekho "touched my breasts over my school uniform, and then he touched the inner part of my thigh. I was unable to say anything out of fear, and all I could do was press my legs together."
Baekho then touched "my thigh again and touched my genitals over the stockings I was wearing."
As response, Pledis Entertainment warned that they "are taking legal action against false rumors and malicious slander, comments, posts, and the dissemination of the aforementioned things. In addition to this, we will take strong action against all other unlawful acts."
A new statement will be issued Friday by the agency regarding the issue.