Blackpink’s Jennie Kim asks fans to stop sharing her leaked images

Photo credit: VCG - Getty Images
Photo credit: VCG - Getty Images

The management team of K-pop sensation Jennie Kim, from the girl group Blackpink, have put a message out asking for fans and people online to stop sharing Jennie's leaked images, which reportedly show her and fellow musician, V, from BTS, together.

The images are said to not be sexual, explicit or nude in any way, but rather to show the pair (who are rumoured to be dating) having dinner together, travelling and taking selfies whilst wearing matching Winnie the Pooh t-shirts. However, in one photo, Jennie is apparently pictured in a bathtub (although her body is not in shot).

The police have been asked to investigate the distribution of the personal images, which have been shared across the encrypted messaging app, Telegram, and on the social media platform Twitter. According to the BBC, two accounts associated with spreading the images have already been suspended and some fans believe the images to be composite, or fakes, due to the faces in some of them being blurred.

YG Entertainment have released a statement on the issue however, appearing to confirm their authenticity (or at least the authenticity of some) and said that as a result of the hacked images being shared, Jennie has faced "sexual harassment" and "personal attacks" from the public.

Their statement reveals that YG did not initially want to comment on the leak, through fear of fuelling the fire, but ultimately felt they had no choice: "We are revealing that we have officially requested the police to investigate the original distributor of BLACKPINK’s Jennie’s personal photos. YG has been continuously monitoring the relevant content, and we submitted a complaint last September after collecting information."

Photo credit: Emma McIntyre - Getty Images
Photo credit: Emma McIntyre - Getty Images

The statement continues on to say, "In order to minimize further damage, YG has refrained from commenting [regarding the situation] and expressing our stance. However, the recent mass production of rumors, accusations, personal attacks, sexual harassment, and invasion of privacy sparked by the personal photos have been occurring indiscriminately, so we felt a sense of responsibility, making it difficult for us to overlook this any longer."

Jennie's management team added: "The photos that have circulated online were revealed illegally regardless of one's personal intentions. The act of sharing [these personal photos] is not only a secondary offense, but it is also subject to legal punishment. We sincerely ask that you avoid this indiscriminate sharing."

In terms of South Korea's defamation laws, rules allow for individuals to be prosecuted as a result of spreading malicious rumours online (irrespective of whether or not the gossip is ultimately true), should it cause harm to another person. Punishments can include prison time or a fine.

With regards to leaked photos, whatever the content of them may be, South Korea also has regulations in place making it so that individuals retain ownership of their images, meaning leaking or hacking someone else's photos may again lead to prosecution.

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