HYBE And Source Music have issued a detailed response addressing the alleged bullied victim of LE SSERAFIM’s Kim Garam statement through her law firm.
The alleged victim said the evidence leaked was indeed real. The statement also asks HYBE to correct what they claim to be the false facts and issue an apology, otherwise, they would be releasing more evidence that proves what they claim.
Last night, HYBE issued a temporary response denying the rumors vehemently again. They also said they would be returning with a full statement as soon as they organized the facts.
Here is their full translated statement:
“We would like to tell you the facts and our position on the additional allegations related to LESSERAFIM member Kim Garam.
First of all, we would like to apologize for causing concern to the fans regarding these suspicions. We have refrained from clarifying the details of the facts confirmed through the members themselves and many third-party statements, fearing that the sensitive personal information of minors, including those of their peers involved in the incident, would be revealed. However, we want to correct the suspicions that have been raised as distorted claims continue to be raised as Kim Garam is a one-sided perpetrator of school violence with physical violence over a long period of time, with only one side’s position being conveyed.
Before we go into details, the most important points of the allegations concerning the School Violence Committee (hereinafter referred to as the “School Violence Committee”) are as follows:
Yoo Eun-seo [an alias], a client of the law firm Daeryun (hereinafter referred to as “Daeryun”), unauthorizedly took a photo of a friend wearing only her underwear at school and posted it publicly on a social network service under another friend’s name (this is also clearly stated in the school violence report).
Friends, including Kim Ga-ram, who was furious at this behavior, protested to Yoo Eun-seo, and there was no physical violence involved. Yoo admitted her wrongdoing, but was not punished for her actions. Rather, she pointed out the friends who confronted her as the perpetrators and referred them to the school violence committee, and she transferred to another school. As a result, Kim Garam and a friend were punished by the school violence committee.
We will explain in detail the matters related below!
We will explain the contents related to the School Violence Committee.
Kim Ga-ram was called up to the School Violence Committee in 2018 while attending the first grade of middle school and was penalized.
We will explain the detailed facts because the overall context can be understood only when the situation and details of the school violence committee are fully explained.
In this case, Kim Ga-ram, who was taking action for her friend, was pointed out as the perpetrator of the school violence committee. When the perpetrator, who first did something terribly wrong against her fellow students, was the one who requested a school violence committee.
Kim Garam has been friends with Yoo Eun-seo for about two months from March to April 2018, the beginning of the first grade of middle school. However, there was an argument for about three hours when Kim Garam found out that Yoo Eun-seo had gossiped about her and her other friend at a retreat in the first grade of middle school, and it ended after apologizing to each other.
However, as Yoo Eun-seo reported the incident to a close male student, Yoo Eun-seo and the close male students outside the school threatened to use physical violence against Kim Ga-ram. With the incident, Kim Garam no longer got along with Yoo Eun-seo and they cut ties.
Later, Yoo Eun-seo took a picture of D [an unnamed individual], who was a close friend of Kim Garam, wearing only underwear when she was changing at school, and uploaded this picture publicly and unauthorizedly through another friend, A’s social network service. At that time, D was very mentally shocked, and a total of five friends, including Kim Ga-ram, who was D’s friend, were questioned on behalf of D for Yoo Eun-seo’s wrong behavior. Kim Garam and her friends, who were angry at the spread of illegal photography by her friend D, met Yoo Eun-seo separately and cursed during a big protest. Yoo Eun-seo admitted to her misbehavior, but for this behavior, she was not punished by the school, including the school violence committee.
In the process, Yoo Eun-seo called for a meeting of the school violence committee, saying that Kim Gar-ram and many of her friends bullied her, and Kim Gar-ram and friend A, who took victim D’s side, were seen as the perpetrators and Yoo Eun-seo as the victim.
However, Yoo Eun-seo voluntarily transferred when discussion of a ‘forced transfer’ at the request of D was held. In addition, the school violence committee’s disposition was given to two students, Kim Garam and A, who were pointed out by Yoo Eun-seo who transferred.
Yoo Eun-seo transferred to the provinces and moved back to the school next to where Kim Ga-ram attended one or two months later.
At that time, there were many classmates who understood the core content related to the school violence committee.
Regarding the school violence committee held in June 2018, in addition to the direct subjects, many people involved and many of the school’s classmates know the key content. Apart from the superficial classification of perpetrators and victims by the school violence committee, there are many of their classmates who perceived Yoo Eun-seo’s behavior as a problem, and there are third parties who can testify to it.
Kim Garam was also a victim of school violence.
After Kim Garam was swept away by the unfortunate situation of the school violence committee, absurd rumors about Kim Garam spread to schools. When Kim Garam was in middle school, she suffered from malicious false rumors such as “she hit my friend with a flowerpot,” and “she was forced to transfer,” and later received an apology directly from a classmate who spread false rumors through the intervention of the school teacher.
Some students also forcibly invited Kim Garam and Kim Garam’s friends to a messenger’s group chat, teasing them or swearing at them. Kim Garam was bullied and would be invited him back when she left the group chat room, and was also bullied for not reading the messages or not saying anything. At that time, not only the classmates but also several students who were not familiar with Kim Garam attending other schools entered the chat room and verbally abused Kim Garam and her friend. Unable to endure such bullying, Kim Garam and her friend even asked the school teacher for help.”
In the next section of the statement, the agency goes into detail dispelling each rumor Kim Garam has been involved in besides the bullying. They denied the following:
1. “Kim Garam was forced to transfer schools” is not true.
Kim Garam lived in Seoul from preschool through her second year of elementary school, and due to her father’s job change, she spent the remaining four years of the elementary school in Gwangju.
When she began preparing to enter middle school, she returned to Seoul and entered the middle school close to where she lived, and she is currently attending high school. There was no forced transfer involved in this process.
2. Rumors such as “she hit her friend on the head with a pot” and “she broke her classmate’s head with a brick” are not true.
All the rumors are false, and Kim Garam was damaged by the rumors even when she was in middle school. She also received an apology directly from the classmate who admitted to spreading false rumors at a place where several friends were also gathered due to the intervention of the school teacher.
3. It is also not true that “she went to school in a police car, had a gang fight or assaulted other students.”
Kim Ga-ram has never assaulted or had a gang fight with other students, and has never been to school in a police car. These are all malicious false rumors.
4. The rumor that “she drank and smoked” is not true either.
Kim Garam has never smoked or drunk before. Rather, in the first year of middle school, some students submitted a false report as a joke, saying Kim Garam smoked. Kim Ga-ram took a nicotine test with her parents and submitted it to the teacher to clear the unfairness and submitted the results to her homeroom teacher, and even explained false rumors about smoking to her friends.
5. “I gossiped about other artists” is also not true.
The rumor that Kim Garam used rude and vulgar expressions against other artists is also a malicious false rumor. Kim Garam has never said she is a fan of a certain male artist and has never had any negative feelings or judgments of her group members or other girl group members.
6. “she signed as a trainee of a different agency and was removed from her debut group” is groundless
Kim Garam had never been a trainee for another agency before Source Music. In addition, malicious rumors that she was a debut member of another agency’s group but was terminated due to her conduct and problematic personality in the past are groundless.
We have stated that we will take legal action without any agreement or leniency against the persons who spread malicious claims or false information about the artist about to debut. Among the above false facts, we have already begun legal action, including complaints, and we will secure evidence for the rest of the cases and take additional legal action.”
In their closing remarks, they reiterate that they’ve attempted to solve this issue privately since it includes minors, however, the situation became one that they had no choice but to take action against groundless false rumors. They also apologized for Kim Garam’s wrongful speech and behavior in the past [the verbal dispute part] and said she acknowledges her faults and is deeply reflecting.
They also added that Kim Garam has been a victim who was hurt by cyberbullying and school violence and the psychological hardship that spread from prior to her debut until now have caused her suffering, as a result, she will temporarily halt activities to focus on ‘healing her wounded heart.’
For the time being, LE SSERAFIM will temporarily promote as five members until Kim Garam returns after recovering.