Han Hyo-joo: A Review of Her Controversies and Incidents

Han Hyo-joo: A Review of Her Controversies and Incidents

Han Hyo-joo: A Review of Her Controversies and Incidents

Tension at the MBC Acting Awards with Kim Nam-joo

In 2010, at the MBC Acting Awards, Han Hyo-joo and Kim Nam-joo shared the grand prize, leading to a noticeable tension as both vied for the last word during their acceptance speeches. This moment of awkwardness was highlighted when the host, Kim Yong-man, had to intervene, suggesting that both would get a chance to speak. Initially, Han Hyo-joo was allowed to speak first, but both actresses returned to the microphone multiple times to thank additional staff members and express further gratitude. This sequence of events sparked criticism, especially towards Han Hyo-joo, for seemingly competing to speak last, traditionally a spot reserved for a senior figure like Kim Nam-joo. This incident has remained a topic of discussion among netizens and has been revisited in various online platforms, sometimes stirring up debates on the appropriateness of their actions during the ceremony.

The Tragic Case Involving Han Ji-hoon

In July 2013, a distressing incident involved Han Hyo-joo’s brother, Han Ji-hoon, then a lieutenant in the Air Force’s 15th Special Missions Wing. He was implicated in the suicide of Private Kim Ji-hoon, a freshman from Korea University, following allegations of severe mistreatment. This case attracted significant media attention, and suspicions arose about potential media manipulation by Han Hyo-joo’s agency, BH Entertainment, which was accused of releasing unrelated positive news stories about her to counteract the negative publicity. The agency’s response was criticized as insufficient, and this controversy continues to affect Han Hyo-joo’s public image, with her films around that time suffering from review bombings as a result.

Tax Issues and Fines

In late 2022, the Seoul Regional Tax Office launched a special audit on Han Hyo-joo, which resulted in a back-tax demand of approximately 60 million KRW, reported in June 2023. This sparked suspicions of deliberate tax evasion. However, her agency clarified that this was part of a regular audit, not a targeted investigation, and attributed the discrepancy to differences in interpreting taxable items. They emphasized that Han had been a diligent taxpayer, previously serving as a promotional ambassador for the National Tax Service and receiving a commendation from the president as a model taxpayer in 2014. Her agency reaffirmed her commitment to fulfilling her civic duties without any previous tax-related indiscretions.


Han Hyo-joo’s career has been marked not only by her achievements in the acting world but also by these notable controversies. Each incident has shaped public perception in varying degrees, from fleeting disputes over award ceremony etiquette to more severe allegations involving family members and legal issues. Despite these challenges, Han Hyo-joo has continued to work actively in the entertainment industry, managing her reputation amid the ups and downs associated with her public and personal life. Her agency’s efforts to navigate these incidents reflect the ongoing complexities facing public figures in managing their professional image amidst personal and familial controversies.


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