A video of former idol Ha Joo Yeon, popular as Baby J, has shocked her fans as she is currently struggling to make ends meet. To help her aged parents, she even worked at a café for minimum wage. Though her agency had promised her work, they have not offered her any projects so far.
Ha Joo Yeon was the member of KPOP group Jewelry. The group became popular with its song Baby One More Time. The sad plight of the former idol was revealed during an interview on YouTube channel Update Olympics. The program is known for catching up with the present life of stars who have been out of the limelight. This video featuring Ha Joo Yeon was captioned: "Update of Former Jewelry Member. Why You Haven't Seen Her Lately."
Working at a Cafe
In the video, Ha Joo Yeon is seen telling that she is attending another interview for work [non-entertainment field] as she has to look after her parents, who are not in good health. She also revealed that she worked at a café for $8 per hour, which is the minimum wage for over a year when she did not get any offers from the entertainment industry.
"I started working at a café since 2019. I quit the job last year, but I'm going for another interview later because I have not been able to find work in the entertainment field. At the café, I would work 8 to 9 hours a day, and get paid 1 million KRW (around $884) a month because it's minimum wage," she said.
She personally visited her agency and requested them for work and they promised to intimate her. "In the entertainment field, if you don't have work coming in, you have to take a break. My parents are sick, so I decided to earn livelihood and thus I've been off social media for a year. Still, I tried. I even visited my agency personally and asked for work. They said they'd contact me, but they haven't. I'm still interested in entertainment though."
Missing the Spotlight
Ha Joo Yeon also spoke about her time as an idol. She said the members of group [Jewelry] were very busy. After their song Baby One More Time became a hit, they had to do six to seven events a day. They literally did not have any time to take rest. In fact, due to time shortage between events they even had to ride a helicopter once.
"I'd get into the car and close my eyes to find myself in Daegu, Jeonju, or Busan. Then we'd sing, dance, greet fans, then get back home. That was my lifestyle for a year," she said. Ha Joo Yeon had joined Jewelry in 2006. She is the daughter of actor Ha Jae Young who has performed in a number of dramas as character artist till 1996.
Ha Joo Yeon quit the group Jewelry in 2014. The group was disbanded in 2015. After quitting, she was seen in various projects including Mnet's Show Me The Money 5 and Unpretty Rapstar 3.
Though currently she is not finding work in the entertainment industry, she has no hard feelings towards it and still wants to make a comeback. She said: "I am still interested in working in entertainment field. In case I find my way back into the entertainment field, I request you [people] to accept me with open hearts."