Article: 10 Korean Celebrities Who’ve Had It Rough

We all know about celebrities with a tragic past and the hardship they overcame to get where they are today. Here is a list of 10 Korean celebrities, who have literally seen the worst of it all.

1. Leeteuk

Leeteuk is the leader of the idol group, Super Junior. In 2014, it was revealed that Leeteuk’s father and grandparents were found dead in their house. Police investigation showed that it was a murder-suicide case. Leeteuk's father strangled his parents before hanging himself, leaving a message indicating that he would be taking them with him. The police had concluded that the incident was that the event was most likely caused by Leeteuk's father feeling pressured by his inability to care for his parents owing to financial difficulties.


2. Sunmi

Sunmi is a singer under MakeUs Entertainment. She was a member of Wonder Girls, a former JYP girl group. Sunmi lived with her two younger brothers and her sick father, who was eventually hospitalized. Sunmi began taking the bus to Seoul to attend her own auditions in order to pay their costs. During her trainee days, her younger siblings took care of their father. One day Sunmi’s father sent a message saying that he would be leaving first, she never replied to it assuming, that her father was merely complaining about having a difficult time again. Sunmi’s father passed away the following day.


3. Lee Hangyul

Lee Hangyul is an actor and singer. He debuted in 2017 as a member of the idol group IM. Hangyul's popularity rose after his participation in ‘Produce X 101’, and his debut with X1. In 2020, Hangyul debuted with the duo H&D, and with BAE173. Hangyul was abandoned as a newborn and lived in an orphanage until he was 7 years old. Hangyul was adopted by a woman who worked as a social worker. Hangyul strives to work hard so that he can pay his parents back for their generosity.


4. IU

IU is one of the most prominent and famous idol-actresses in South Korea. She is a soloist, signed under EDAM Entertainment. She debuted in 2018 with the song ‘Lost Child’ on an M Countdown stage. When IU was still a young child, she and her younger brother were sent to live with their grandmother due to her father’s failed project. IU has confessed to being verbally abused in her household for her singing and that it created a massive impact on her to strive even harder to succeed.


5. Jaejoong

Kim Jaejoong is a songwriter, singer, and actor. He is most famously known as a former member of TVXQ and JYJ. Jae Joong is currently the richest K-pop idol, with his estimated net worth being almost $100 million. Kim Jaejoong was born as Han Jaejoon in 1986. He had a difficult childhood and was eventually given away for adoption by his birth mother. Jaejoong was adopted by a Kim family. Due to the struggles, he witnessed at a young age, Jaejoong developed an intense determination to succeed in life.


6. Sandara Park

Sandara Park, is an actress, TV host, and singer. Sandara had initially belonged to a moderate business family, but her father went bankrupt after a hefty loss in his business. Due to this, their family shifted to the Philippines to start a new life. Sandara turned things around for her family after finishing in second place on the first season of ‘Star Circle Quest’. But her father had supposedly gambled all her savings years later and even left their mother for another woman.


7. Park Bogum

Park Bogum is an actor, singer, and musician, currently signed under Blossom Entertainment. He is widely known for his roles as the psychopathic lawyer in ‘Hello Monster’ and the genius Go player in ‘Reply 1988’. Back in 2014, Park Bogum had filed for bankruptcy. It wasn’t a personal debt that pushed him into this situation but rather his father’s. When Bogum’s father had loaned out some money, he had listed his son down as the joint surety. The total debt is known to be approximately 800 million won.


8. Rain

Rain is a pop singer and actor. He was a part of the JYP family before leaving to create his own agency. Currently, he owns two agencies, J. Tune Entertainment (2007), and R.A.I.N Company (2015). Rain’s family had suffered greatly due to the 1997 Korean financial crisis. It forced his father to declare bankruptcy, and moved to Brazil to earn money. His mother worked as a food vendor. But, unfortunately, she passed away in 2000 due to her diabetes, as the family was unable to pay for her medical needs.


9. Suga

Min Yoongi, otherwise known as Suga, is the lead rapper of the idol group BTS. Suga is also a music producer and has produced music for BTS and other idols. Suga uses the alias August D for his solo work. He has released two mixtapes to date, ‘August D’ in 2016, and ‘D-2’ in 2020. Suga had a hard time during his trainee days balancing out his jobs and practice timings.According to Suga, his parents didn’t support him and his dreams. Suga’s parents wanted him to become a civil servant and have a stable life. Although his parents are supportive today, Suga clearly had to face a lot of challenges to earn their approval.


10. Han Sohee

Han Sohee is an actress and model who started her career in 2016 with an appearance in SHINee’s ‘Tell Me What To Do’ MV. Sohee’s first acting role was in the 2017 drama ‘Reunited Worlds’. Her first main roles were in the dramas ‘Money Flower’ and ‘100 Days My Prince’. She became more popular after being cast as the main lead in the hit NetFlix drama ‘My Name’. During the beginning of her career Sohee had struggled a lot with poverty. She moved to Seoul with just 300,000 won and worked in a bar for more than one year to make ends meet.