Sitala, a member of rookie girl group H1-KEY, has parted ways with the K-pop act only five months after their debut.
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Grandline Group, the agency behind H1-KEY, announced in a statement to South Korean media outlet Wikitree today (May 25) that Sitala will be leaving the K-pop girl group due to undisclosed “personal reasons”, following discussions with the singer.
“After speaking at length with the artist and the members of H1-KEY and considering the situation in its totality, we have come to this decision,” Grandline Group said, as translated by Koreaboo. “Most of all, we would like to apologise to the fans for the sudden news.”
Last year, Sitala drew flak online over her family’s alleged involvement in the 2014 political crisis in Thailand. Her father was late Thai actor and filmmaker Sarunyu Wongkrachang, who had allegedly been a supporter of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee, which played a key role in the 2014 Thai political crisis, according to both The Korea Times and The Bangkok Post.
At the time, GLG responded by announcing their decision to keep Sitala in H1-KEY, despite calls for her removal. “We have come to the conclusion that we cannot hold Sitala accountable on the basis of her father’s past decisions and actions that were beyond her responsibility,” the agency’s statement read.
Sitala had also spoken up about the controversy during a press conference in January, which was held for the group’s debut with the song ‘Athletic Girl’. “I want to emphasise that I do not have any political belief right now,” she said, per The Korea Times. “In the past, I was not clearly aware of what was happening in my country because I was too young.”