It has been announced that LE SSERAFIM member Kim Garam has left the kpop group and her exclusive contracts with HYBE and Source Music have been terminated. The record label shared a joint statement on Wednesday, 20th July to confirm Kim Garam’s exit from the group and their arrangements for the K-pop girl group to move forward as a five-member group.
The 16-year-old vocalist was introduced as a member of the group in April this year, soon after Source Music was bought by HYBE, and LE SSERAFIM made their debut with the arrival of their first mini-album called, ‘ Fearless’ in May. Kim Garam, a previous member of K-Pop girl group LE SSERAFIM whose exit from the band was reported by record label HYBE and Source Music on July 20 after claims of school bullying were made against her in April 2022. After the said bullying rumours surfaced, Source Music made an announcement denying the claims and later declared that Kim Garam will be temporarily halting her activities.
Kim Garam Bullying Allegation
Not long after she was declared to make her debut with LE SSERAFIM in April, she was accused of bullying students while she was at the middle school. Everything began when HYBE released Kim Garam’s teaser photographs and clips ahead of her debut with the girl group LE SSERAFIM.
Around then, Korean news sources, including Trendbiz, shared photographs of her from her previous classmates, showing the idol committing underage smoking and drinking. Screenshots of her conversion with her supposed victim likewise came up, yet HYBE and Source Music released a joint announcement to deny the allegations against her.
In a statement which was interpreted from Korean to English by Soompi at that point, the record labels claimed that the allegation against Kim Garam was ‘cunningly edited’ as a way to ‘malevolently slander’ Kim Garam before she’d made her debut with the group.
Per Soompi, the labels included in their statement that: ‘Contrary to the cases, it was confirmed through a third-party that Kim Garam was a victim of school bullying, including malicious rumours about her and cyberbullying Kim Garam when she was in middle school.
Hybe Terminates The Contract
On 20th July, Source Music released an official announcement confirming its decision to end its contract with Kim Garam. The company offered a statement of regret to fans and the individuals who have been supporting and cherishing LE SSERAFIM starting from the start. However, due to the controversy surrounding the member, it was decided to end the contract and let the girl group promote with its five-member instead.
‘We would like to provide you with info on the decision made in regards to LE SSERAFIM member KIM GARAM and plans for future activities with LE SSERAFIM. Our company has chosen to end the exclusive contract with KIM GARAM,’ it said.
Before the termination of the contract, she was still able to debut with the group on 2nd May, with FEARLESS. Be that as it may, not long after the bullying allegation arose, she halted her activities and stayed out of the spotlight.