Former Monsta X member Wonho left the group in October of last year. Among the things he was accused of was drug usage back in 2013, but Starship Entertainment recently announced that police have cleared him.
“On March 10, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency’s narcotics investigation team concluded their investigation into allegations involving drugs such as marijuana and MONSTA X’s former member Wonho, and Wonho has been cleared of all charges related to the case. In late October, 2019, allegations of marijuana use were made against Wonho, and the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency’s narcotics investigation team launched an investigation into the charges. During this process, Wonho was fully cooperative in all stages of the investigation, including the scientific examinations carried out by the investigative body. The team carried out a broad investigation over the past five months, but did not find any suspicious activity, and the case surrounding Wonho was closed on March 10. Irrespective of the above information, our agency and Wonho wish to once again apologize for causing great concern to fans. Also, we wish to express our deep gratitude to the Korean and international fans who have watched over the investigation and shown their unchanging support. During the investigation, we minimized the media coverage and external exposure of Wonho as much as possible, and we have waited a long time as we did our best, such as appointing legal representation, to ensure that there were no unjust charges. We will give Wonho our full support so that he can continue down the path he desires in the future.”
Sorta confused on this front since Starship definitely stated previously that they had terminated their contract with him, but it seems like they at least are still representing him in some fashion.
Anyway, in terms of the drug charges, it was always hard to figure how he was ever going to be busted in 2019 for usage-related stuff from 2013, so all this really means is he isn’t currently using. But considering this is essentially a public relations war at this point, it’s a potential jumping off point for his return to the industry.
On the aforementioned image issue, fans are understandably going to use this as a moment of victory, and it is in terms of the legal system, but his future still isn’t all that clear. When he left, it was due to an accumulation of mess, so this will probably come down to the public’s ability to get over his reported juvie record and allegations that he effectively stole from Jung Da Eun. I wrote at length last November about why cancelling his career now for transgressions as a minor in the vein of stealing was a terrible look not even for his sake but just for society as a whole, and that still stands, but what I feel doesn’t matter and any return will ultimately hinge on whether he can escape an onslaught of criticism on other issues from his past as well. That said, Starship seems like they are open to the idea of him joining again if he is, and I do hope that is the eventual outcome, as being ripped from the industry even for what he’s been accused of doing was always a bit dramatic for my tastes.
I also understand the points that others are making in terms of the double standard potentially at play here, as a female idol would have like zero shot of coming back from a history like this, but I don’t believe it’s ultimately productive to try and get people to enforce those overly restrictive ideals on everybody instead of moving things collectively to more liberal thought on these matters.