Kim Garam was introduced on April 5th and left the group on July 20th, making her among Kpop artists that ended their careers the fastest.
Former LE SSERAFIM member Kim Garam was first introduced on April 5th, but was accused of school violence just a few days after. On July 20th, HYBE and Source Music officially announced they have terminated their contract with Kim Garam, making the 17-year-old idol one of the quickest to end their idol life.
As the first girl group to debut under HYBE Labels – home to BTS, TXT, and many other famous artists, LE SSERAFIM received a lot of attention. However, immediately after one of the members, Kim Garam was introduced, previous photos of the idol making indecent poses and posing in front of indecent drawings started to spread, kick-starting a series of controversies.
In particular, several students started to speak up, accusing Kim Garam of being a school bully. One alleged victim even attached a photo of a notice from the School Violence Committee, which listed Kim Garam as a prepertration.
However, against public disdain, LE SSERAFIM’s agency refuted all claims, even announcing that Kim Garam was the real victim. They also threatened to sue accusers, while explaining that Kim Garam was only listed as a perpetrator by the School Violence Committee after she engaged in a fight to protect her friend.
Amid school bullying allegations, Kim Garam still promoted with LE SSERAFIM and achieved great success with their title song “Fearless”, which dropped on May 2nd. When asked about her controversies at the group’s debut showcase, Kim Garam simply stated: “As of the moment, it’s hard to say anything about the situation. I will work hard as a member of LE SSERAFIM.”
Meanwhile, the group leader, Kim Chaewon said: “The company will speak about the issue in more detail on another occasion.”
However, Kim Garam’s promotions were cut short, after details regarding her alleged school violence case were revealed in a document on May 15th. In particular, a post, which attracted over 500,000 views, showed a photo of a notice of school violence, wherein Kim Garam was stated as a level 5 perpetrator in 2018. According to this post, the female idol was also subjected to special education courses and attended therapy sessions following her bullying actions.
A law firm soon after confirmed the document had been leaked, which infuriated the public. This law firm, which claims to be the victim’s representative unit, verified that the victim was compelled to find another school after being bullied by Kim Garam. This victim was even more distraught when she heard that Kim Garam was ready to make her debut as an idol, and she was subjected to a barrage of assaults and harassment from Kim Garam’s supporters.
However, Kim Garam’s agency did nothing more than “add gasoline to the fire” by asserting that the legal firm’s perspective tried to offend Kim Garam. However, just a few days later, this corporation declared that Garam would temporarily cease operations from May 20 and that Le Sserafim would work as a 5-member group. On May 24, there were rumors that the management company was dealing with the victim and tried to bring Kim Garam back to work. For approximately two months, nothing was heard regarding the matter.
On July 20, the management company officially announced the termination of the contract with the female singer born in 2005 and confirmed that Le Sserafim would only have 5 members. The statement read, “The company decided to terminate the exclusive contract with Kim Garam. We sincerely apologize to the fans and those who have shown love and support for the group.”
The management company’s decision is equivalent to ending Kim Garam’s short career as a K-pop idol because it is uncommon for Korean artists to be able to rebuild their reputations after involving bullying allegations. Previously, Soojin – a former member of (G)I-DLE had to withdraw from the entertainment industry because of a similar scandal despite being at the peak of her career and having a large number of fans.
Kim Garam hasn’t yet made a comment of her own as of yet. This 17-year-old female singer had only roughly 6 weeks of working as a Kpop idol if counting from the day she was introduced (April 5) to the day she started her break (May 20). She ended up being one of the K-pop artists to be kicked out of a group the quickest.