Television host Defconn has denied the rumors surrounding his past, as he was accused of being jailed in juvenile under the country’s harshest juvenile law after a gang fight at school.

During the latest episode of MBC‘s variety show Hangout with Yoo, Yoo Jae Suk was joined by Kim Jong Min and Defconn for their newest segment, Chief Investigation Officer Yoo. Each of the three cast members received a detective persona.

defconn mbc
| Hangout with Yoo/MBC

However, upon seeing Defconn’s appearance as a detective, some netizens were quick to criticize MBC for having Defconn included as a detective when he has committed crimes in the past.

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Hangout with Yoo message board, with netizens calling for Defconn’s removal from the show | Hangout with Yoo/MBC

Netizens claimed Defconn used to be a juvenile delinquent, and brought up one of Defconn’s own admissions and recollections of the events from 2013 as evidence.

This happened 20 years ago, so I can talk about it now. When I was in high school, I was involved in a gang fight with some bad friends. I had to ride in a police car and get investigated by the police. At the time, my father visited me at the police station, he saw me, hugged my head, and just cried. That’s when I realized what a big accident I caused.

My mom was with me at the detention center and gave me a note saying she wouldn’t give up on me. My mom also settled the case with the victim.

I was put on trial, but my grandmother and grandfather got on their knees in front of the judge and begged them to save their grandchild. When I saw that, I vowed to be better.

After that situation, I dropped out of high school, took the GED, and studied at a Christian school.

— Defconn (in 2013)

However, some netizens took the claims too far, exaggerating them and saying Defconn was punished under Korea’s juvenile law with the highest degree, level ten. Korea’s juvenile law is comprised of ten levels of punishment, ranging from level one which is a guarantee that a guardian can watch over the child to ensure their care, to level ten where a child 12 years old or older will be jailed in juvenile for up to two years for their crimes.

defconn
| Han Hee Jae/SPOTV

Following the circulation of the rumors, Defconn’s agency SM C&C denied such rumors, and promised to take legal action to protect Defconn.

Hello, this is SM C&C.

We recently were able to confirm there are false, malicious rumors with no clear source circulating about our artist Defconn.

The contents of the rumors include unconditional slander, malicious accusations, and the spreading of false information against our artist.

As Defconn stated in an entertainment program in the past, he participated in a gang fight with his friend who he was hanging out with a long time ago. He sincerely apologized to the victim at the time, and he has worked hard to become a better person, reflecting on his life for both his family and the people around him. He never was placed under juvenile detention, being punished under juvenile law’s level ten is groundless, and he never received a military exemption.

He thought he had been working hard in his life up until now, but he is still reflecting on his shortcomings. He will continue to work harder.

We want to prevent any further damage and restore his reputation. Currently, we are collecting data related to the spread of the malicious rumors and false information online.

We would also like to inform everyone that we will protect the honor and integrity of our artists through various measures and monitoring of all our celebrities, including Defconn.

Thank you.

— SM C&C