Former Monsta X member Wonho was recently cleared of drug charges, which led Starship Entertainment to seemingly leave the door open to him returning. However, there were other issues at play with his departure from the group, and in a bit of a surprise he addressed them with Dispatch, the outlet that reported on a lot of those mentioned issues.
Wonho starts by talking about the drug charges and denying usage, but he also did acknowledge the other problems.
The interview took place before the final decision, and Wonho stated, “I did not smoke marijuana. The investigation is underway. When my innocence is proven, please tell my story. I want to apologize, and I want to clear misunderstandings. I want to ask for forgiveness.”
He said, “I was at fault, but there were also misunderstandings. Of course, I realize we can’t turn back time. Not everyone who grows up in an environment like mine ends up on the wrong path. When I was on probation, I did a lot of self-reflection.” He was upfront about admitting to his wrongdoings but strongly denied ever using drugs. He said, “I admit that I had issues in the past. But this really isn’t it. I’ve never used marijuana. I explained this clearly to the police.”
As far as his juvie past, he talks about the context around it, essentially saying that he got involved in the wrong crowd.
Wonho spoke of an impoverished childhood. Growing up, he explained that he was bullied by the other children in class for being poor, and his parents constantly fought about money. Wanting to escape, Wonho got to know an older male figure in his neighborhood and started hanging out with him. He explained that afterwards, the bullying had stopped, and he preferred that his classmates were uncomfortable with him. But as the situation did not improve at home, he ran away and started hanging out with a new group of friends who got into trouble with the law. But Wonho took responsibility for his past actions as he said, “I don’t want to blame them. Because it was my choice. It may sound like an excuse, but I was immature. It was my fault. I was in the wrong. I’m sorry.”
As I’ve written previously, while this is by far the most likely thing to prevent a comeback, I honestly think people should allow him to rehab his image from this as it happened as a minor, he paid his debt to society, and is remorseful, especially given his background.
Wonho then mentions his connection with Jung Da Eun, who made allegations that played a role in him leaving the group.
In his second year of high school, he met Jung Da Eun. He explained, “We became close friends quickly. We worked as fitting models together. She helped me a lot, and she supported me a lot in my dreams to become a singer.” It was in his twenties that Wonho says he changed and tried to right his wrongs by working hard. He said, “I saw other kids practicing like crazy. They all had ‘dreams.’ I was embarrassed. I’d only lived my life with resentment. That’s when I made a promise to myself. That I wouldn’t waste my life anymore.” Wonho added, “I danced and sang all night with my fellow trainees. It wasn’t hard. I finally had hope that ‘I, too, have a future.’ I was happy. I was happy in that group setting. I learned so much in those four years.”
Wonho doesn’t specifically mention the issues with her, though I think he includes any issues they had as part of turning his life around afterward.
He also says leaving Monsta X was essentially about damage control.
He said, “We worked really hard on the new album. I hated thinking that MONSTA X would fall because of me. I thought the only way for the team to survive is if I left as soon as possible. I wanted to minimize the damage as much as I could.”
Wonho concludes by talking about his love for the fans and apologizing again for his mistakes and what not.
For fans of Monsta X, this has to be seen as a promising step. Doing this kind of apology tour thing seems like both setting the foundation for a return to the public eye and testing the current public mood on him, which makes an eventual return to Monsta X a realistic possibility.
I understand that his role as an idol complicates things, as being the projection of perfection appears to ultimately be the goal for many fans for whatever unhealthy reason. But even though Wonho made mistakes in the past, he has seemingly also since turned it around, and I always simply figured that his story could be used as an inspirational one instead of something to ruin a career with. Obviously if he ends up screwing up his second chance like many other celebs do then his past can be factored into the judgment there, but I just think he deserves to have one.