K-Pop Star Kim Jaejoong Apologizes for Saying He Has Coronavirus as an April Fools' Joke
By Paige Gawley
Visual China Group via Getty Images/Visual China Group via Getty Images
Kim Jaejoon is apologizing after falsely telling his followers that he had contracted coronavirus. In a since-deleted post on Wednesday, the 34-year-old K-pop star said that he had been diagnosed with the virus, and blamed his positive test on "negligence," according to a translation by Soompi.
"My foolish judgment to live as though it couldn’t happen to me is why I am like this today," he wrote in part. "I am currently hospitalized."
Before Jaejoon deleted the post, he edited the caption to reveal that he was not ill, adding that, though his claim did "did go quite far for April Fool’s Day," he did not consider his post a joke.
"My family and my friends are getting sick.. and dying," he wrote in part, according to the translation. "... I will accept all punishment I receive from this post. I hope all of you are healthy."
In his followup post, which was also translated by the site, Jaejoon wrote that he was aware that his coronavirus lie was in "bad judgement" and something "that shouldn’t be done."
"I hoped that people would be more aware and therefore we could minimize the number of people who suffer because of COVID-19... I wanted to convey the dangerousness of the current situation to them one way or another," he wrote in part. "... My post today, it went very far, but I thought that if people paid a large amount of interest to it, then they might listen. This method has hurt a lot of people and I am receiving criticism for it."
"For causing distress, I sincerely apologize to the government agencies and medical professionals who are working hard because of COVID-19 and to the many people who are following instructions to give up on their lifestyles and are doing all they can to overcome this," he added.