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The 16-year-old singer first found herself embroiled in bullying allegations last month following her introduction as part of LE SSERAFIM’s line-up. Earlier this week, HYBE had announced earlier this week that it would be taking legal action against “malicious slander” made against Kim Ga-ram.
Following investigations by the music labels, HYBE has since released statement today (May 20) addressing its findings regarding the controversy surrounding Kim. It clarified that it had previously refrained from clarifying the details of the alleged situation as it was “concerned that the identity and sensitive personal information of minors… would be disclosed”, considering that the allegations made against Kim were that of from her time in middle school, as translated by Koreaboo.
The company claim in its statement that Kim had not been a perpetrator of physical or cyber bullying, but rather a victim of falsified rumours that were being spread throughout her middle school. “Kim Ga-ram has been damaged by all kinds of false rumours since her debut,” wrote Source Music. It also went on to directly address several key claims made against Kim, debunking the claims as “false information”.
“Kim Ga-ram, in her first year of middle school, became a victim of cyberbullying as well as a victim of school bullying. She has since diligently moved forward to pursue her dreams,” wrote the label. “However, she has dealt with many rumours and has been attacked mercilessly in the process of her debut.”
— SOURCEMUSIC (@SOURCEMUSIC) May 20, 2022
As a result of the recent escalation of bullying allegations made against the K-pop idol, Source Music has announced that Kim will be going on a temporary hiatus “so she can focus on healing”. “Until Kim Ga-ram has fully healed and returned, LE SSERAFIM will move forward as a five-member group,” concluded Source Music.
“Although this was an incident that happened in the tumultuous backdrop of freshman year in middle school, Kim Ga-ram is looking back on her immature actions and is full of remorse. We ask for merciful understanding,” HYBE added.
Earlier this month, LE SSERAFIM became 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”.