Karina of aespa, actor Lee Jae-wook are in love, agencies confirm

This composite file photo shows K-pop girl group aespa's Karina, left, and actor Lee Jae-wook. Yonhap

This composite file photo shows K-pop girl group aespa's Karina, left, and actor Lee Jae-wook. Yonhap

By Park Jin-hai

K-pop group aespa's Karina and actor Lee Jae-wook are in a relationship, their respective management agencies confirmed, Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, Korean entertainment media outlet Dispatch said the two were seen together in both Seoul and Milan. They both attended luxury fashion house Prada's Fall-Winter collection show in Italy on Jan. 14.

According to sources close to the couple, it was "love at first sight" for Karina and Lee.

In response to the rumors, Karina's agency, SM Entertainment, said the two "just started getting to know each other," confirming the two are dating.

Lee's agency, C-JeS Studio, asked fans to support their relationships.

"Since Lee is in the middle of shooting a drama and it is about his private life, we ask for your warm support," it said.

The relationship between the top K-pop idol and the renowned actor drew enormous attention from fans. As of Tuesday afternoon, Lee's agency website is inaccessible due to heavy traffic.

Karina, 23, debuted as a member of girl group aespa in 2020. The four-member group is best known for its songs "Next Level" (2021) and "Savage" (2021) and for its unique fictional universe that includes virtual selves of the members.

Lee, a 25-year-old actor and model, made his acting debut with the sci-fi thriller "Memories of the Alhambra" in 2018 and rose to fame with the fantasy period drama "Alchemy of Souls" (2022). His new series "The Impossible Heir" will be released via Disney+ later this month.

Park Jin-hai jinhai@koreatimes.co.kr

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