HYBE and Source Music ended up terminating their contract with former LE SSERAFIM member Kim Garam.
2 months after Kim Garam temporarily halted activities due to her school violence controversy right after debuting with LE SSERAFIM back in May, the female idol departed from the group, as announced in a recent notice.
In particular, HYBE and Source Music stated on July 20th that: “Our company has decided to terminate our exclusive contract with Kim Garam.”
They also said: “We extend our sincerest apologies to our fans to those who have shown love and support to the group for causing you concern over the controversy involving the member.”, before confirming that LE SSERAFIM will continue their activities as a five-member group.
Previously, Kim Garam got embroiled in a school violence controversy right after the official debut of LE SSERAFIM. At the time, a netizen posted accusations of Kim Garam being a school bully on an online forum, followed by various others with similar experiences. The alleged victims also disclosed a series of evidence, including one official document from the School Violence Committee that listed Kim Garam as a level 5 perpetrator.
At first, HYBE completely denied the allegations of school violence against Kim Garam, claiming that they were malicious slander through clever editing and rather, it was Kim Garam who suffered from malicious rumors and cyberbullying when she was in middle school.
However, amid additional revelations from the alleged victims and various kinds of evidence, Source Music acknowledged that Kim Garam used some abusive language while defending her friend, who was damaged by unauthorized filming, and ended up being a victim of online bullying. After that, Kim Garam was punished by the school violence committee.
At the same time, Source Music announced they would take legal actions against the spread of false information. Kim Garam then reportedly went on a hiatus to heal her injured heart due to the controversy. However, no matter how much the agency protected Kim Garam, the public’s reaction to her only became colder. Now, Kim Garam has officially left HYBE and LE SSERAFIM under the label of “school violence perpetrator”.