The group’s name, LE SSERAFIM, is an acronym for the words “IM FEARLESS,” which was highlighted at the start of the company’s countdown event. This acronym conveys the next group’s powerful message and perspective. Sakura, Chaewon, Yunjin, Kazuha, Eunchae, and Garam are members of the first girl group of Hybe Entertainment.
Bullying claims arose against Garam following her unveiling as an LE SSERAFIM member on April 5, 2022. In response, Source Music (HYBE) asserted that the charges were created to tarnish Garam’s reputation in a defamation lawsuit and that Garam was a victim of school bullying, thus they denied the school bullying rumours.
On May 16, a photo of what seems to be an official record of a school violence committee meeting in which Garam was named as the offender was leaked, coupled with other proof. Later that day, HYBE confirmed that they have begun legal action against the defamation and that their earlier statement has not been altered.
On May 19, a claimed victim came forward through their legal lawyer and stated that they were compelled to move schools and obtain treatment due to Garam and her colleagues’ extreme bullying. She was subsequently forced to drop out of her new school due to severe anxiety, panic attacks, and suicide attempts. If HYBE maintains their stance without a sincere apology to the victim, the legal firm has said that it will reveal the complete text of the outcomes of the Autonomous Committee for Countermeasures Against School Violence, including an account of the case. HYBE issued a statement indicating that they will clarify their current view after everything has been evaluated and that what is being presented is simply one side of the story.
On May 20, Source Music reported that Garam would be withdrawing from group activities owing to bullying allegations. As a result, LE SSERAFIM will carry out activities as she returns from her break.
However, on July 20, 2022, Source Music posted an official statement that Garam was permanently removed from the group.
The Statement said:
This is HYBE/SOURCE MUSIC.
We would like to provide you with information on the decision made in regards to LE SSERAFIM member KIM GARAM and plans for the future activities of LE SSERAFIM.
Our company has decided to terminate the exclusive contract with KIM GARAM.
We extend our sincerest apologies to our fans and to those who have shown love and support to the group for causing you concern over the controversy involving the member.
LE SSERAFIM will continue their activities as a five-member group, and we will spare no effort to support the group to grow further as artists through their music and performance.
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