SHINee’s Onew has been confirmed to leave the cast of the upcoming Age of Youth 2 amid the controversy regarding the sexual harassment case filed against him after he allegedly touched sensitive parts of a woman’s body on August 12. SM Entertainment, the agency of the boy group, said on August 16 that Onew was confirmed to be leaving Age of Youth 2 after discussions with the drama’s production staff.
This recent development leaves the drama short of one major male cast. Onew will be playing the role of Kwon Ho-chang, an engineering student who is innocent when it comes to love and relationships, but this is no more the case after the scandal that put him in a bad situation and ultimately forced him to drop out of the drama. The production team of Age of Youth 2 has yet to decide what will happen to the said character, saying they “have not made any decisions about a replacement or what will happen henceforth. We will release a statement once we have come to a decision about a replacement.”
Onew was brought in to the police from a high-profile club in Gangnam at past 7 am on August 12 for questioning about the case. He allegedly touch a woman’s body three times but did not accept nor denied the accusation. Instead, he was reported to have stated that he do not remember what happened due to intoxication. SM Entertainment released a statement on the same day saying that he came into physical contact with the woman and consequently caused a misunderstanding. The statement also said that the woman has acknowledged the situation, so she did not pursue a legal action against him.
However, the dropping of the case by the victim did not end the controversy. On August 14, the Seoul Gangnam Police Station revealed that the sexual harassment case will be passed over to the prosecution for further investigation. A police commented that the victim has received additional damage due to media coverage that has exposed her personal information and although she agreed with SM Entertainment to drop the charges, she testified that “there is no change in the fact that the sexual harassment occurred.”
Onew just went to the club on August 12 to congratulate a friend who became a DJ and after a short 4-day period, he lost his role as Kwon Ho-chang in the new season of Age of Youth, which is set to premiere on August 25.