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aespa’s Karina, actor Lee Jae-wook go separate ways

April 2, 2024 - 18:23 By Hong Yoo
Lee Jae-wook (left) and Karina attend Prada’s 2024 fall-winter men’s collection show in Milan on Jan. 14. (Prada)

Under heavy pressure from fans, Karina of aespa and actor Lee Jae-wook have parted ways, just five weeks after their relationship became public.

“Actor Lee Jae-wook decided to break up with Karina to concentrate on work. The two of them will continue to support each other as colleagues working in the same industry," said Lee Jae-wook’s agency, CJes Studios, in a press release Tuesday.

The breakup was confirmed by Karina's agency.

“Karina and Lee Jae-wook have decided to go their separate ways,” an SM Entertainment official told The Korea Herald.

The breakup comes just five weeks after the two stars confirmed their romantic relationship on Feb. 27.

The two first met at Prada’s 2024 fall-winter men’s collection show in Milan on Jan. 14.

Karina faced criticism from fans after her relationship with Lee became public. She apologized in a handwritten letter posted to her Instagram account.

Some of her fans had even rented trucks with a large LED screen on its side that displayed written protests against her dating. Some claimed feelings of betrayal by the singer, who had pledged to focus on work. The trucks were parked in front of the SM Entertainment headquarters in Seoul.

Lee also faced accusations of controversy for dating Karina.

Rumors of a supposed romantic relationship between Lee and a popular actor recently spread online, which claimed that Lee had dated the actor until right before he began dating Karina. In response, CJes Studios warned it would file criminal and civil charges against those perpetrating the rumors.

Lee recently starred in Disney+ series “The Impossible Heir,” while Karina is set to star in “Agents of Mystery,” a Netflix reality series expected to premiere sometime in the second quarter of this year.

Karina will also embark on a world tour with aespa in June.