Kim Garam made her debut along with LE SSERAFIM in May 2022. She was soon accused of school violence and bullying in what was to become a huge saga. Due to the overwhelming amount of allegations made against Kim Garam, she was put on hiatus until the allegations were checked. While her former agency HYBE had continuously denied the accusations, more and more accusations poured out from her ex-schoolmates. Ultimately, Kim Garam was taken out of the group.
As LE SSERAFIM continued to promote as a 5-member group, Kim Garam returned to a shroud of secrecy. Finally, on August 10, 2022, Kim Garam released her own statement regarding the accusations.
Firstly, to review the case, it started when multiple past photos of Kim Garam as a student were leaked. Some of the photos did not paint Kim Garam in a positive light. One, in particular, was of her allegedly posing in front of a board of obscenities.
Allegations that she had been a delinquent flew. Kim Garam was accused of outcasting anyone she didn’t like, as well as bragging about her bullying power. A former classmate of Kim Garam, called Yoo Eun Seo (pen name), then stepped up to specifically accuse Kim Garam of school violence against her. She had claimed that a school violence committee had been opened against Kim Garam due to the matter.
As a result, Kim Garam was given a 5th category ruling. The ruling was a particularly severe one, with the public recognizing the 5th category as one given to those who have used physical violence on someone. Thus, the public turned against Kim Garam even further.
In Garam’s new statement, she denies having used violence on anyone ever, as well as other accusations. She claims to have never bullied or outcast anyone.
Hello. This is Kim Garam.
Firstly, I would like to apologize. Although it’s very late, I didn’t have the opportunity to make a statement. It’s true that I was afraid that the dream, which I had been working hard for and running towards all this while, would shatter due to my past actions. But as days passed, I was even more afraid of all the criticisms targeted at me. And if I was given a chance, I definitely wanted to honestly tell my side of the story.
1. I have never hit anyone or used violence on anyone, not even once.
2. I have never been forced to transfer.
3. I have never smoked nor consumed alcohol.
4. I have never outcasted or bullied anyone.
5. I was just a regular student.
About the school violence committee matter, it happened around March to May, when I was in my first year of middle school. Yoo Eun Seo talked about my friends behind their backs and uploaded a photo of another friend who was only dressed in her underwear.
I wanted to help my friend, so I confronted Yoo Eun Seo and ended up cursing at her in the process. Back then, I wasn’t able to recognize the difference between too much and too little, so I did not think of my actions as wrong while confronting Yoo Eun Seo.
I thought that I was being loyal by helping my friend, and I simply thought that my actions were chivalrous. I was unable to recognize the seriousness of the matter. Now, looking back, I had been rather immature.
Back then, my friendships were the most important to me, and I was at the age where I enjoyed the time spent with them the most. My methods then were wrong, and although I made some mistakes and wrong actions, I don’t want to hate who I was back then.
My parents had always told me not to ignore friends who needed help or were in a tough spot. I think the same even to this day.
I will work even harder in order to let my future shine brighter. My debut was possible because of the time that I had spent fighting for my dream. Those two weeks after my debut feels like a dream to me, but ultimately, it will become a period of time in my life that I cannot ever forget.
And to the precious fans of mine who loved me and cheered me on, thank you so much. I was able to hang on because of the endless support from my fans. I will definitely work hard.
Thank you for reading this long post.
August 10, 2022, Kim Garam.
— Kim Garam
HYBE Entertainment has made a statement regarding Kim Garam’s new statement.