When Super Junior's Kim Heechul and Twice's Momo Hirai were rumored to be dating in 2019, they were pretty quick to shut down those rumors. But fast-forward to the beginning of 2020 and it turns out that these idols are officially an item. Who confirmed the news? And how long have they officially been dating? Here's what we know.
Momo and Heechul denied dating rumors in August of 2019.
Rumors first surfaced that Momo and Heechul were in a romantic relationship in August. Sources even claimed that they were together for over two years, after they first met in 2017. However, their agencies claimed that these dating reports were false, mentioning that "Super Juniors’ Kim Heechul and TWICE’s Momo are friends with a senior-junior relationship."
Also, during an August broadcast of "Ask Us Anything," when Heechul was asked about these dating rumors, he simply replied "No, it's not true." Still, it was hard for fans to ignore his grand entrance, which included him dancing along to a Twice song...
Momo and Heechul are now officially together.
Both of their agencies have recently confirmed the news with their own statements. JYP Entertainment, Momo’s management, said: “We are confirming that Heechul and Momo are in a relationship. They have recently started a relationship that grew from a sunbae-hoobae friendship in the industry.”
Momo and Heechul's "sunbae-hoobae" friendship (or "mentorship"), is actually pretty common among K-Pop stars, where the older, more experienced idols get to take the juniors under their wing. In this case, Super Junior has been around since 2005 and was one of the first groups to help boost the popularity of K-Pop. And as for Momo's group, Twice, they debuted in 2015, so it was the perfect setup for a senior-junior friendship-turned-romance.
An outlet known as Market News also confirmed the dating rumors, saying: “The two of them are currently developing a beautiful love for each other despite their busy schedules. It’s been said that in the rough entertainment industry where many incidents occur, they are a great source of support for each other. Their relationship began as ‘close seniors and juniors’ but they are now a couple.”
Didn't JYP Entertainment ban Twice members from dating?
Seeing these close mentorships turn into a public romance is quite rare because some labels, including Twice's JYP Entertainment, enforced strict dating bans. In fact, JYP Entertainment only decided to limit their ban to the first three years because news had gotten out about Twice leader Jihyo and Kang Daniel's relationship.
Since Twice's ban was officially lifted in 2018, Momo is now allowed to have a romantic relationship. As for when this romance officially began, no one knows for sure.
How old are Momo and Heechul?
They're actually over 13 years apart. Momo is 23 years old while Heechul is 36. To be honest, Heechul can legit pass for a 25-year-old because he literally doesn't age.
How are the fans reacting?
K-Pop fans were beyond excited to hear this news. Especially since they've been shipping this couple for what must've felt like forever. Now that they're officially together (and essentially the first K-Pop couple of 2020), the fans couldn't be happier about it.
One Twitter user also mentioned their history as close friends and pointed out that they deserve everyone's support and respect. We imagine that the rest of the fandom wholeheartedly agrees.
We get the feeling that this year will reward us with even more adorable K-Pop romances. But for now, Momo and Heechul is basically everyone's golden couple and we couldn't be happier for them.