Aespa's Karina Writes an Apology Letter to Fans For Making Her Relationship Public

Karina of Aespa apology letter to fans 

K-pop idol, Karina of the girl group, Aespa, which was formed by SM Entertainment in November 2020, has recently been confirmed to be dating K-drama actor, Lee Jae Wook.

They sparked dating rumors after being seen together at the Prada fashion show in Milan in January 2024, and on February 27, their respective agencies officially admitted their relationship. 

Karina of Aespa apology letter to fans
Lee Jae Wook and Karina at the Milan Fashion Week in January 2024

The confirmation spawned heated discussions online among K-pop and K-drama fans, with criticisms on both sides. 

Lee Jae Wook seemed to be the most aggrieved party as Aespa's fanatics criticized him for taking a young girlfriend and damaging her career. 

Goodness! Perhaps, these fans did not know that Lee Jae Wook was born in 1998 and Karina was born in 2000, they only have a two-year age difference! How this age difference become an issue?

Karina of Aespa apology letter to fans
Lee Jae Wook and Karina at the Milan Fashion Week in January 2024

In the wake of the intense scrutiny, Karina penned a letter addressed to her fans, apologizing for upsetting them (for revealing her relationship in public). She also asked for their understanding with a promise to "do her job" well. 

Apology such as this from a celebrity for being in a relationship is actually alarming and upsetting because it mirrors how toxic the fandoms in Asia are, how celebrities live at the mercy of their fans, and how fans can be wild, obsessed, and extremely jealous. 

The repeated "sorry" of Karina in her handwritten letter confronted our very own thoughts about idolizing celebrities - do they need to feel sorry for falling in love? Do they need to ask permission from fans to enjoy their private lives including going on a date?

It's crazy to think these things come this far. Really feel sorry for Karina for yielding to the pressure of overly jealous fans.

Just like in the C-drama fandoms, K-drama fans are also prone to crossing boundaries with the private lives of their idols. It's distressing and scary, as it feels like fans have already taken control of the lives of celebrities.

Most fans can no longer distinguish reality from fiction, treating their idols as prized things they can possess instead of viewing them as human beings who have the right to live and breathe on their own. 

This is the reason why most K-drama and C-drama celebrities are afraid to admit their romantic involvement because of the wild reaction of fans. 

In 2018, Gulinazha and Han Zhang, who met and fell in love while filming "The Classic of Mountains and Seas" in 2015, broke up after three years of dating. Their relationship was under pressure from Han Zhang's fans who constantly attacked Gulinazha, and some would even send death threats, for dating Han Zhang.

Here's the handwritten apology letter of Karina to her fans translated into English by Soompi:

Hello, this is Karina, 

First, I apologize for surprising you greatly, and I wound up [writing this] late because I feel very cautious towards the MYs [aespa’s fans] who must have been very surprised.

I know very well how disappointed the MYs who have supported me up until now must be, and I also know that they are feeling upset while thinking back on the things we’ve said to one another. I feel even more sorry because I, too, understand those feelings all too well.

I wound up writing this letter in the hopes of conveying my feelings even a little bit.

Even though I’m worried that this [letter] may hurt [MYs] one more time, the reason I’m taking the risk and writing this is that I wanted to convey that I am sincerely sorry to the fans who gifted me with the warmest winter of my life from the moment I debuted.

Starting now, I want to do a good job filling the places where MYs have been wounded. I have always been sincere towards MYs, and even now, each and every one of you is truly precious to me.

Although this letter may be too short to express all of my feelings, thank you for reading it. In the future, I want to show you a more mature side, without disappointing MYs, as I work even harder in my activities.

MYs, please make sure to eat well, and let’s meet one another in good shape. I’m sorry, and I’m very grateful.

About Karina

Her real name is Yu Ji-min and she was born on April 11, 2000, in Gyeonggi province in South Korea. She is professionally known as Karina. 

She is the leader of the South Korean girl group Aespa, formed by SM Entertainment in November 2020. She is also a member of the supergroup Got the Beat, which debuted on January 3, 2022.

Karina is reportedly a Roman Catholic and stated that her baptismal name is Katarina, which is the inspiration for her stage name.

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