We will stop our activities for a while and concentrate on healing. Until their return, the five members will continue to perform together.
On May 20, a major Korean entertainment agency, HYBE, announced the suspension of activities of its popular idol group members.
The member who will be taking a break is Kim Garam (16) of “LE SSERAFIM” (“Le Seraphim”). Le Seraphim is a six-member girl group that just debuted on May 2. Former “IZ*ONE” member Sakira Miyawaki is also a member of this popular group, and they are attracting worldwide attention as the younger sister group of “BTS,” which belongs to the same agency.
Their debut album “FEARLESS” sold 310,000 copies in its first week of release, the highest ever for a girl group. Their music video has been viewed over 64 million times.
After a spectacular start, the popular girl group that made its best debut is now hit by rumors. The members of the girl group went on hiatus about 20 days after their debut.
The allegations against one of the members, Garam, have had an impact. Even before their debut, there were rumors on the Internet that Garam had been bullying a student, and in April, an anonymous person, A, who had attended the same junior high school as Garam wrote, “I was threatened by Garam for about a year and suffered mental stress. I transferred to a different school because of the bullying.” A captured image of a messenger application was uploaded, in which Garam is said to have written, ‘Answer my phone or I’ll kill you.’
Contents of the Documentary Evidence
Her office immediately denied the online postings. They claimed that the trouble between friends was distorted and that Garam was rather a victim. However, when “Le Seraphim” made its debut, the furor grew even greater.
On May 15, A uploaded a document called Document of Evidence, entitled “School Violence Prevention Autonomy Committee Result Report” which states, ‘The assailant is Kim Garam, a student in the third grade of the first year.’ When interviewed by the press, the school replied, ‘We cannot answer (the authenticity of the document)’. Because they did not deny it, speculation spread that the document might be genuine.
On May 19, A’s lawyer released a statement that the contents of the documents are genuine and that A is suffering further mental anguish because the office did not acknowledge the fact. And if they do not admit it, they will continue to disclose the evidence and an apology should be made.
On May 20, the office acknowledges that Garam has been punished by the school. On the other hand, they deny that Garam was bullied. They claimed that the trouble started when A was harassing Garam’s best friend B. Garam protested against A’s insolence, he said.
According to the office, A took photos of B’s underwear without permission and published them on social networking sites. When Garam protested, A reported to the school committee that she had been bullied. Rumors were spread that Garam hit his friend on the head with a brick or a flowerpot. Garam was forced to suspend her activities due to the mental damage caused by the series of disturbances.
Photo： Jiji Press