Former LE SSERAFIM member Kim Ga-ram has reportedly shared a new statement denying allegations she was involved in bullying incidents as a middle schooler.
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The 16-year-old Kim was removed from the rookie K-pop girl group LE SSERAFIM and had her exclusive contract with HYBE subsidiary label Source Music terminated last month after those allegations emerged. She was not replaced with a new member, and LE SSERAFIM became a five-member group.
At the time, HYBE and Source Music denied the allegations and claimed the posts about the allegations were “cunningly edited” with the intent of “maliciously slander[ing]” Kim. The labels also told press that they had begun taking “legal action” over the allegations. In the weeks leading up to her termination, Kim was placed on a temporary hiatus from group activities.
On August 10, an individual claiming to be a friend of Kim’s uploaded a letter purportedly written by Kim on her behalf, per SBS News. “First and foremost, I want to say I’m sorry. I know that this is very late, but I didn’t have the chance to talk about my position,” the letter read.
“I put [in] much effort to achieve my dream, so it’s true that I was afraid that the dream that I ran toward would break into pieces because of my past actions. But I was more afraid of the criticisms that snowballed as the days passed, and I really wanted to share my side of the story if I was given a chance.”
Kim then denied the claims of bullying made against her: “I never hit anyone or inflicted violence on someone, not even once. I was never forced to transfer from one school to another. I never drank alcohol or smoked cigarette[s]. I never bullied anyone. I was just an ordinary student.”
As allegations emerged against Kim earlier this year, an anonymous netizen uploaded a photo of a document from 2018 claiming that results from a school violence committee investigation named Kim as a perpetrator.
In her new letter, Kim claimed that the school violence committee convened after Yoo, Kim’s former classmate who made the allegations, talked about Kim’s friend behind her back and uploaded photos of her “in underwear”. According to the letter, Kim had started to curse at Yoo in the heat of an argument.
“I thought it was the right thing to do to help the victim, and I didn’t realise the seriousness of the actions because we felt it was rightful to do so. Looking back, I was very immature and childish,” read the letter. “The method of my actions was wrong. There were many mistakes that I made, but I don’t want to hate myself for that time. My parents often told me not to ignore a friend who needs help or in trouble. I’m still holding onto that principle, even at this moment.”
Besides the letter purportedly written by Kim, a document claiming to be the full report from the school violence committee intervention was shared, the findings of which corroborate Kim’s claims in the letter. Read the report as translated by Koreaboo here.
Following Kim’s purported letter addressing the controversies, HYBE released a brief statement to Xsports News today (August 11) stating that they will not comment. “As we have already terminated our exclusive contract with Kim Ga-ram, we have nothing else to say because any additional comments are not appropriate [given the contractual situation],” wrote the label, per translations by Koreaboo.
Meanwhile, LE SSERAFIM member Huh Yun-jin released a new self-produced solo track titled ‘Raise y_our glass’ yesterday (August 10) alongside its accompanying music video. She also simultaneously became the fourth member of the girl group to launch a personal Instagram account, after Kazuha, Sakura and Chae-won.