South Korean singer-songwriter Wonho, a member of K-pop boyband Monsta X, has announced his departure from the group following allegations of financial mismanagement.
The K-pop idol’s label Starship Entertainment broke the news yesterday (October 31) with a statement on Twitter, explaining that the singer’s exit was “amicable” and was reached “after a long discussion”. The company also added that it “greatly respect[s] Wonho’s decision”. Read the full statement below.
스타쉽 엔터테인먼트입니다. pic.twitter.com/2MSbpudbvf
— STARSHIP Ent. (@STARSHIPent) October 31, 2019
Wonho’s exit comes hot on the heels of accusations made by former YG Entertainment trainee Han Seo-hee, who alleges he owes money to his former co-star on the South Korean variety show Ulzzang Shidae. Starship Entertainment has denied the allegations and, despite Wonho’s departure from the group, will “continue to hold legal liability for malicious claims related to this matter,” it wrote in a statement.
Wonho – real name Shin Ho-seok – has issued an apology to his fans with a handwritten letter that explained his sudden exit from the group. The singer also urged fans to continue supporting his former group.
“I carefully ask that you at least give support and encouragement to the members [of Monsta X]. They are people who are too good to stop and get hurt like this because of someone like me,” Shin wrote, as translated by Soompi. “I am so thankful and apologetic to the staff [of Starship Entertainment], members and lastly our fans who have allowed me to enjoy such happiness until this point.”
Fans of Wonho have rallied around him on social media platforms, with tweets and posts in support of the singer. Fans have also started a petition which opposes his departure from Monsta X. At the time of writing, the petition has garnered over 300,000 signatures.
Starship Entertainment has also confirmed that Monsta X would continue as a six-piece band, with remaining members Shownu, Minhyuk, Kihyun, Hyungwon, Jooheon and IM.
Prior to Wonho’s exit, Monsta X had been making waves in the West with a slew of English-language singles such as ‘Someone’s Someone’ and ‘Who Do U Love?’. Back in February, they released their third studio album ‘Take.2 We Are Here’, which NME’s Rhian Daly called “focused and assured” in a three-star review.