It must have been a difficult few months for Blackpink's Jennie and BTS' V, with their apparent photos together being leaked and their private lives scrutinised relentlessly.
Jennie seems to finally have had enough, as she has unfollowed and removed everyone from her alleged private Instagram account.
Due to concerns of privacy violations, none of the leaked personal photos will be shared in this article.
It started in May, when a photo purporting to be of the two K-pop idols on Jeju Island, apparently on a date, made its rounds. The rumours resurfaced in late August with private photos leaked by a notorious Twitter account with the username Gurumiharibo, leading online sleuths to wonder if they were real or edited.
Gurumiharibo has been banned from Twitter and is now active on Telegram instead.
Netizens recently speculated that it might be a friend of Jennie and V, who are both 26, who leaked their photos, pointing to a particular influencer who has since made his Instagram account private.
Fans also alleged that Jennie unfollowed and removed this influencer first on her private account, before she deleted everyone else.
Some wondered if the leak was malicious or actually the result of a hacking, as one of Jennie's close friends, model and Squid Game actress Jung Ho-yeon, continues to follow the influencer.
"The watermark Gurumiharibo put in the photo saying it was taken by [the influencer], his account with 40k followers going private, Ho-yeon from Squid Games following him, Jennie sending him a PR package, him and Tae-hyung literally being friends… [The influencer] is either getting hacked by Gurumiharibo or he's a fake friend," one fan tweeted, referring to V by his real name Kim Tae-hyung.
A recent leaked photo of V had fans speculating that he was on Jennie's bed with her family's pet cat. According to netizens, a photo has surfaced of the influencer with the same cat, which made fans suspicious of his alleged betrayal.
Another fan speculated: "Gurumiharibo uploaded a new pic showing [the influencer] and Jennie along with her cat, mind you. [The influencer] is followed by Jung Ho-yeon, Jennie's known friend.
"Is he the one who leaked the pictures of Tae-hyung and Jennie or is he the one that got hacked?"
Many fans are indignant about this fiasco as YG Entertainment, which represents Jennie, and Bighit Music, which represents V, have been largely silent on the issue.
YG Entertainment has released two statements — one in May stating they had nothing to say regarding the matter and one in August indirectly denying that Jennie would be travelling with V — and fans claim that neither company has been protecting their idols' privacy or standing up to the hate they receive.
"You can't tell me watching someone violating your artist's privacy and not taking any legal action is a normal thing," a fan tweeted.
In particular, Jennie has been the subject of accusations of promiscuity, despite her only confirmed partner having been Exo's Kai in 2019. She was also rumoured to have dated BigBang's G-Dragon for a year when South Korean media outed the relationship in February last year.