K-Pop bands are notorious for sticking together, but recently there have been a string of members leaving their bands, like Woojin from Stray Kids and Hwall from The Boyz. Sadly, Monsta X's Wonho is the latest K-Pop idol to announce his departure from his band. On Oct. 31, Starship Entertainment announced Wonho is leaving Monsta X and that the group will continue on with six members. The news follows the onslaught of malicious comments and rumors surrounding Wonho, which prompted him to depart Monsta X so his fellow members — Shownu, Minhyuk, Kihyun, Hyungwon, Joohoney, and I.M — can focus on music.
On Twitter, Starship Entertainment announced the news in both Korean and English in a statement that read,
After a long discussion with Monsta X's member Wonho, we have agreed that it's best to part ways amicably at this point. We greatly respect Wonho's decision who wants to make sure the recent chain of events doesn't distract from all the exciting things that are happening for Monsta X now and what lies ahead in the future.
Elite Daily reached out to Starship Entertainment for further comment on Wonho's exit from Monsta X, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
The news of Wonho leaving Monsta X comes just days after Monsta X made their comeback with their album Follow: Find You on Oct. 28, featuring the lead single "Follow" and the emotional side-track "Find You." While Monsta X will move forward without Wonho, Starship Entertainment promised it will take legal action against those spreading the malicious rumors that led to his departure.
"We will continue to hold legal liability for malicious and distorted claims related to this matter," the company's statement read.
Coinciding with the company's statement, Wonho released a hand-written letter on Monsta X's official fan cafe (a South Korean blog platform) explaining his decision to leave the group.
According to a translation by Soompi, Wonho's letter read, "I would like to apologize for not being able to keep the promise that I would only provide good memories to our fans and for causing them pain. Furthermore, I apologize for causing concern to many people due to my personal issues."
One of the rumors Wonho could be referring to is that he allegedly borrowed money from a friend, but didn't pay him back. Starship denied the claim to News1, stating, “[The rumor] is not true, and we are looking into the possibility of taking legal action.”
Another rumor concerned Wonho and Minhyuk allegedly making a #MeToo joke at a fan sign on March 9, but Starship responded to the accusations claiming it was a misunderstanding, writing in a statement,
While we had no intentions to cause any harm at MONSTA X’s fan sign event earlier this year, nor during their time of promotions, we would like to give out our most sincerest apologies to everyone and all the fans who felt uncomfortable by the behavior and comments that left room for misunderstanding.
In his letter about his decision to leave the band, Wonho expressed his apologies to his fellow Monsta X members and his fans, and asked fans to continue supporting Monsta X.
I am apologetic for causing harm to the members due to the unfortunate issues related to me. More than anything, I am sorry for disappointing my fans who believed in me. I have reached this decision after seeing many people having a hard time because of me... Please give strength to MONSTA X. The members have nothing to do with me. I carefully ask that you at least give support and encouragement to the members. They are people who are too good to stop and get hurt like this because of someone like me. I am so thankful and apologetic to the staff, members, and lastly our fans who have allowed me to enjoy such happiness until this point.
Following Wonho's heartfelt message, Monbebes shared their love and support for him on Twitter.
At the time of publication, Monsta X is still scheduled to perform at the 2019 iHeartRadio Jingle Ball tour in December.