Secret’s Latest News
Being the first member to leave Secret, Sunhwa is arguably the most successful former Secret member as she continuously stars in Korean television series and variety shows as well as models for several brands. In December 2018, Sunhwa appeared on SBS’s Running Man for the Christmas Special. Sunhwa was not the only guest of the show as there were also other celebrities as well, namely Park Ha-na, Sung Hoon, and Girls’ Generation Sooyoung.
In early 2018, Sunhwa became the cameo of MBC’s melodrama television series Tempted. She appeared on the premiere of the drama as a pretty lawyer who attracted the hero’s attention Kwon Shi-hyun (played by Woo Doo-hwan). Sunhwa’s character is described to be Kwon Shi-hyun’s first seduction target before he targeted the heroine Eun Tae-hee (played by Red Velvet’s Joy).
Surprising news came from Secret’s leader Hyosung who revealed that TS Entertainment has not paid her for the past three years and that she decided to terminate her exclusive contract with the company. At the end of March 2018, Hyosung requested lawsuit (which she already filed in September 2017) against the agency to confirm the invalidity of her contract. Her legal representative stated, “The last payment Hyosung received was KRW 6 million (approximately USD 5580) in 2015 and she has not been paid since then. Hyosung did not receive proper payments even though she worked”. In addition, Hyosung refused to submit detailed evidence data due to the confidential content. On the other hand, TS Entertainment believed that there were no problems regarding Hyosung’s payments. They have submitted a CCTV video of an information session on their payments and commented that the payment breakdown has been comprised of decently. Moreover, TS Entertainment refused to terminate Hyosung’s contract as it still remains valid until 2021.
The lawsuit between Hyosung and her agency has been prolonged for months as they failed to reach negotiation in the legal dispute. However, a joyous moment finally occurs for Hyosung as the courts rule in favor of her lawsuit in mid-November 2018. The ruling stated that the exclusive contract between Hyosung and her agency is not valid, “The defendant (TS Entertainment) must pay the plaintiff (Hyosung) approximately KRW 130 million (approximately USD 114,840) in remaining down payments and unpaid wages”. In addition, the agency will also have to cover 95 percent of legal fees, while Hyosung pays five percent.
Soon after the press release, TS Entertainment put official statement which said that the truth is different from what Hyosung’s legal representative stated, “The court only ruled that the exclusive contract is not valid due to the company being seen as lacking in regards to providing payment materials”. Even so, Hyosung already celebrated the event by posting a quote photo ‘Thanks God’ on her personal Instagram account.
Similar to Hyosung, Jieun also submitted a request to the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board regarding the verification of her contract with TS Entertainment in August 2017. Jieun’s contract is currently no longer valid. In March 2018, Jieun has officially left Secret, whereas the agency stated that the other Secret members were not informed of Jieun’s departure from the group. In addition, the agency said that they will take legal action if Jieun continues any activities that have not been agreed upon, hence Jieun’s activities break as a celebrity to this day.
In the same month, Jieun was also reported to be in a dating rumor with her co-star actor Sung Hoon. Through her personal Instagram, Jieun clarified the rumor, “I just saw the news. I think fans must have been very surprised. I am so sorry, but I think I’ll have to relay statements through my Instagram for awhile”. In addition, Jieun denied that she expressed to Sung Hoon about her departure from Secret, as well as is in talks to sign with his agency, Stallion Entertainment.
These days, Hana is quite busy with her YouTube channel ‘#HANA What Am I Doing Today?. She has opened the channel since May 2018 and has uploaded numerous videos. The vlogs that Hana recorded usually told about her daily activities as a celebrity.
How Is Secret’s Popularity Ranking?
The first place is equally shared by Hyosung and Sunhwa. Speaking individually, Hyosung is more known in male communities for having glamorous body and charming charisma, whereas Sunhwa’s reputation is gained by her blank paper charm and ‘dumbhead’ image on several variety shows, such as Invincible Youth and We Got Married, though in the present time Sunhwa is more recognized as a refined actress in television series. The second place is occupied by Jieun who is considered as a multitalented celebrity who has ventured as a soloist and actress. Lastly, Hana came in the final place as she still mentions Secret whenever she goes on the solo venture as a vlogger on YouTube. The unfortunate placement was also admitted by Hana in one broadcast show as people did not recognize her whenever she is alone in the public. However, through the constant vlogging activities that she is doing in mid-2018, Hana slowly but surely starts to have her own spotlight, just like the other former Secret members.