What happened to Kim Hyun-joong from ‘Boys over Flowers’?
For many K-drama fans, their gateway series into the world of K-dramas tends to be Boys Over Flowers. Based on the Japanese manga of the same name, Boys Over Flowers follows a poor scholarship student at an elite high school Geum Jan-di (Ku Hye-sun), who catches the attention of the rich group of young men known as F4. Love, comedy, and drama follow.
Boys Over Flowers was huge in South Korea during its release and remains a pretty beloved series ten years after its release. It also launched the careers of the show’s actors into the stratosphere. One of those stars? Kim Hyun-joong, who played Geum Jan-di’s crush & the grandson of the former president of South Korea. Along with the other leads, this role launched his career in a pretty big way.
In the years since Boys Over Flowers ended, Kim Hyun-joong has been through a lot. From a music career to military service to relationship drama, Hyun-joong hasn’t been sitting idle since Boys Over Flowers. Here’s what you need to know about Hyun-joong’s life post-Boys Over Flowers.
Singing & acting career
Before Boys Over Flowers, Kim Hyun-joong kicked off his career as a member of the K-pop boy band, SS501. Though he went on to become a cherished actor, his passion for music never left him.
After snagging himself another acting role in Playful Kiss, Kim Hyun-joong started focusing on his career as a solo artist. In 2011, Kim released a solo debut EP album titled Break Down. His EP ended up being a best-seller and he went on to release a second album Lucky in the same year.
Kim went on a short tour of Japan, performing his music in seven cities. A music machine, Kim won the award for Best Male Artist that year and blessed his fans with another digital single called “Marry Me”.
Following this dynamite year, Kim soared to the top of the charts with single albums like “Kiss Kiss / Lucky Guy”, “Heat”, “Break Down”, & “Hot Sun”. Meanwhile, Kim starred in many other K-dramas like Barefooted Friends & Inspiring Generation.
In 2015, Kim Hyung-joong was swept away to enlist in South Korea’s mandatory military service. Over a hundred fans gathered to say goodbye to Kim as he entered the 30th division for training.
Kim went through five weeks of training at Gyeonggi-do 30th Recruit Training Squadron before he was stationed as a border patrol in the Korean Demilitarized Zone. After twenty-one months, Kim was discharged from service in the military. Upon release Kim said:
“I feel like I’m starting the second half of my life. I still have a lot of worries and fear. However, I felt many things, learned how to overcome, and thought a lot while I was in the army. I hope people will trust me more and watch over me.”
The saga of Kim Hyun-joong and “Choi”
While Hyun-joong’s career continued to flourish, his personal life descended into chaos. In 2014, Kim’s ex-girlfriend, known only as Choi, filed assault charges against him. She claimed in the case that he repeatedly beat her, which led to bruises and broken ribs. Kim Hyun-joong, however, said that he only injured her once when practicing martial arts.
It initially ended with Kim Hyun-joong being fined 5 million KRW (Korean Republic won) for injuring Choi. Prosecutors elaborated on this, saying “While Kim claimed that he had no intention of hurting her, the damage from the attack was clear.” Kim apologized for the charges and acknowledged his responsibility for inflicting mental & physical damage.
However, in Feb 2015, it was reported that Kim Hyun-joong and Choi had reunited and were expecting their first child together. He, however, denied the claims of the reunion, saying that he hadn’t seen Choi since she told him of her pregnancy in January of that year. He wasn’t even sure he was the father. She gave birth to the baby in September 2015 and a paternity test proved he was the father.
In May 2015, Choi filed a lawsuit against Kim Hyun-joong for mental distress caused by her relationship with him. She claimed that the abuse she suffered caused her to miscarry a previous pregnancy in 2014. He filed a countersuit for 100 million KRW for defamation. The courts ruled in his favor saying that there was circumstantial evidence that she was lying about her 2014 pregnancy.
Following this, in 2016, the Korean courts reversed the previous assault charge. New evidence had come to light about Choi’s claims which included text messages between Choi, her mother, and her friends along with the director of the tabloid that Choi had given her evidence.
In Jan. 2017, prosecutors filed charges against Choi for defamation and attempted fraud. In 2018, she was fined 5 million KRW for the attempted fraud charge. Since then, things have been quiet on the front of this court battle.
In light of all this legal drama, it’s important to separate truth from slander. Many avid fans ardently defend Kim Hyun-joong, insisting that Choi took advantage of Hyun-joong. Is there any truth to Choi’s accusations, or is she just an intense example of a “crazy ex”? Let us know your thoughts on the matter in the comments.