TWICE singer Jihyo has an army of supporters who love her and even worship here but to many, it came as a shock when the K-pop diva revealed she has been fighting depression since rumors of sex tape scandal.
Jihyo wrote a lengthy online post on January 7 to apologize for her recent outburst during which she used a derogatory Korean term humiliating to men.
The 22-year-old in the bare-it-all letter revealed that since March, she has been fighting depression and had broken down on several occasions.
Devout Jihyo fans would remember the airport incident in March when the K-pop girl band star was seen crying while heading to take a flight to Tokyo.
Korea Times then had reported that Jihyo along eight other members was going their Japan concert tour.
A video released in March had shown a teary-eyed Jihyo holding hands with co-member Jeongyeon.
Talking about that day, Jihyo revealed that she was unable to control her tears at the airport because "I was so scared about what those people thought of me and how they saw me".
"After completely unfounded rumors about me came out in March last year, I became more scared over appearing in front of people," she wrote in the online post.
In March, when the sex tape scandal exploded, rumors dragged TWICE leader Jihyo's name as well.
It was widely circulated that Jihyo was one of the female celebrities who appeared in sex videos that Jung Joon-young filmed without his lovers' consent and then distributed in an online chatroom in 2015.
The K-pop singer also revealed adding to the stress was when media found out about her relationship with singer Kang Daniel.
"In August, my private life became known, and there were a lot of rumors as well. Because of that, my anxiety and fear became so overwhelming that saying just one thing, or performing, in front of people was scary and hard."
Jihyo revealed that she was crying even before the Mnet Asian Music Awards in Nagoya.
"I cried from fear and wanted to hide," she said.
She even had to go to the hospital and take medicines to fight her anxiety. "But that didn't help much," she added.
TWICE leader clarified that she was not fishing for sympathy rather she just wanted to clarify the stress she has been under, which eventually led to her hitting out strongly against an online hater.