Seo Soojin, 23, has left K-pop girl group (G)I-DLE amid the unresolved bullying controversy that has hounded her since February.
In a statement released on Aug. 14, Cube Entertainment said, “First of all, we bow our heads in apology for causing concern with the controversy related to Sujin Seo from our company.”
“We would like to inform you that as of today, Seo Soojin has decided to leave the team,” it added.
It said, “In the future, (G)I-DLE plan to continue their activities as a five-member system, and we will do our best to provide unwavering support and best efforts so that (G)I-DLE can show more mature music and performances.”
The bullying accusations against Soojin started in February when a Korean netizen posted online to say that Soojin called her younger sister and her friend to the bathroom and made them slap each other. The netizen also claimed Soojin slapped the younger sister, took her money and bullied her.
Soojin and the younger sister, who were both born in 1998, were classmates at Waw Middle School located in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province in South Korea.
Amid the controversy, Soojin posted a statement on Cube Entertainment’s U Cube app and denied the allegations against her.
“First, I have never assaulted my friend. Second, I have never ridden a motorcycle. Third, I have never sent a group text message to bully someone. Fourth, I did not steal any school uniform or other belongings. Fifth, I never had a conversation with actress Seo Shin-ae in school,” Soojin wrote.
She said she wore clothes that did not suit her age and smoked a few cigarettes out of curiosity but she has never smoked since then.
Regarding her classmate, Soojin said she considered her as a friend. She said she had memories of eating at her friend’s house and watching a movie with her and her older sister. Soojin added that she is thankful to her classmate’s older sister for giving her advice to report to the police when she got a threatening text message from a school senior.
On March 4, Cube Entertainment announced that “Soojin has stopped all activities, and (G)I-DLE will continue their activities as five members for the time being.”Korean fans threatened to boycott Soojin if Cube Entertainment fails to resolve the bullying accusations against her. Soojin debuted in (G)I-DLE in 2018.