K-Pop Star Wonho Departs MONSTA X


K-pop group MONSTA X will continue as a six-piece following this week’s departure of Wonho over past alleged behaviour.

“After a long discussion … we have agreed that it’s best to part ways amicably at this point,” read a statement from Starship Entertainment on Thursday. “We greatly respect Wonho’s decision.”

The label said it the 26-year-old singer, whose real name is Shin Ho-seok, “wants to make sure the recent chain of events doesn’t distract from all of the exciting things that are happening for MONSTA X now and what lies ahead in the future.”

Wonho has been accused of not repaying money he borrowed from a former colleague and, according to reports, he is under investigation for alleged drug use in 2013. South Korea has strict drug laws and the statute of limitations for drug offences is seven years.

Starship said in a statement it was not made aware of “Wonho being under investigation, of the suspicions of marijuana use in 2013, and that an investigation is undergoing.”

In a handwritten statement sent to a popular K-pop blog, Wonho thanked fans “for making precious memories for me” and apologized to the other members of MONSTA X. He said they “have nothing to do with me” and asked fans to give them their “support and encouragement.” 

Although he did not directly address the allegations against him, Wonho referred to “a time when I was immature” and made “big and small mistakes.”

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