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In a statement issued today (July 20), the two labels announced that they have terminated their exclusive contract with Kim. The companies also said that LE SSERAFIM will be conducting future activities as a five-member act.
“We extend our sincerest apologies to our fans and to those who have shown love and support to the group for causing you concern over the controversy involving the member,” the two labels wrote in the statement.
[공지] 르세라핌 향후 활동 계획 안내 pic.twitter.com/OUZBSFgjeb
— SOURCEMUSIC (@SOURCEMUSIC) July 20, 2022
Earlier this year, days after Source Music and HYBE introduced Kim as a member of the group, the 16-year-old singer found herself facing allegations that she had been involved in bullying incidents during her middle school days.
At the time, the labels denied all allegations and claimed that the posts had been “cunningly edited” in order to “maliciously slander” Kim. In a separate statement, Source Music and HYBE told South Korean press that they had begun taking legal action over the allegations.
In the weeks leading up to her contract’s termination, Kim was placed on temporary hiatus from group activities.
LE SSERAFIM is the first girl group to debut under Source Music, following its acquisition by HYBE, with their mini-album ‘Fearless’. In a three-star review of the record, NME’s Rhian Daly praised the project’s title track for “not taking the en vogue route of in-your-face girl crush bangers.”