It’s been about a month now since Kim Garam’s contract was terminated by Source Music and she left LE SSERAFIM, but since that abrupt decision after the company seemingly fought tooth and nail for her, it had been radio silence on the bullying allegations that led to all this. Now though she has spoken out on an Instagram account, releasing a statement addressing the controversy.
“Hello, this is Kim Garam.
First, I want to say I am sorry.
This is very late, but I didn’t have the chance to speak my position.
Because I put much effort to achieve my dream, it is true that I was afraid that the dream that I ran toward would break to pieces because of my past actions. However, I was more afraid of the criticisms that increased as the days passed.
Also, I really wanted to share my position if I was given a chance.
1. I never hit anyone or inflicted violence on someone, not even once.
2. I was never forced to transfer schools.
3. I never smoked or drank.
4. I never bullied or ostracized anyone.
5. I was just an ordinary student.
The Autonomous Committee for Countermeasures against School Violence incident occurred between March and May of middle school when Yoo Eun Seo uploaded photos of my friend wearing only underwear and talking behind her back.
I started arguing with Yoo Eun Seo because I thought I was helping my friend who was the victim, and in the meantime, I started to curse. At that time, I was not aware of the difference in the size of the groups, so I did not deeply think that arguing with Yoo Eun Seo was wrong.
At that time, I thought it was the right thing to do to help the victim, and I didn’t realize the seriousness of our actions because we felt proud (to help). Looking back now, I was very immature and childish.
At that time, friendship was the most important to me, and time with friends was the most enjoyable.
The method of my actions at that time was wrong. There were many mistakes that I made and I was clumsy, but I don’t want to hate myself for that time.
My parents often told me not to ignore a friend who needs help and is in trouble. I hold on to that principle now and at this moment.
I am trying to live my life by working harder so that my life in the future can shine.
I fought for my dreams to debut. The two weeks after my debut were like a dream for me, but it will be remembered as a time I will never forget in my life.
I will try to work hard to become a better person.
And I am infinitely grateful to my precious fans who loved and supported me.
I was able to survive thanks to the constant support of the fans. I will definitely work hard. Thanks for reading this long post.
August 10, 2022, Kim Ga Ram.”
As far as I can tell, there’s not a whole lot of difference between this and the defense presented for her by Source, which doesn’t necessarily mean anything but it just doesn’t move the needle in itself.
As I mentioned previously, the biggest problem she and Source faced was the fact that she had a confirmed school violence committee ruling against her as evidence but the defense did not present similar evidence of their own to push back on this, instead relying on statements.
“Still think seeing that report would probably help settle a lot, but understandably it’s going to be an uphill battle for HYBE/Source when the primary fact we have at the moment that both sides agree on is that Kim Garam was named as a perpetrator in a school violence case and received a rather significant degree of punishment for it.”
It was difficult to blame people for being against Kim Garam based on how things stood. So really the important part about this Instagram account’s posts is that they released the school violence committee report.
Basically Yoo Eunseo and Kim Garam were a part of a 10-person friend group and a bunch of infighting ensued over gossip, which led to a group of eight people (including KGR) yelling at YES for like three hours, and this culminated later in KGR calling YES out. They met up and had some kind of big confrontation, ending with YES’s friends apologizing to KGR’s friends.
YES and KGR cut ties after that, but YES was still mad about it, so YES took a picture of a female student who was on the opposite side of the confrontation in her underwear, stole the Facebook account of a different female student, and set the picture of the female student in her underwear as the profile picture as if the Facebook account owner had done it. YES initially denied doing it, but she eventually admitted it.
The girl whose picture was posted was distraught and told KGR and other friends, who then called out YES and harassed her. Eventually YES acknowledged what she did and transferred schools. However, once at the other school she kept badmouthing KGR and friends, so they invited YES to a group chat and went off on her, basically.
KGR was punished with six hours of special education and five hours for her parents.
Alright, so this is basically what I wanted to see all along, and it does appear to clarify the situation a bit.
A simple dispute seemed to turn into Kim Garam’s side crossing the line with verbal abuse involving eight people against one girl for hours, which escalated and saw the Yoo Eunseo girl cross the line and effectively upload molka of somebody. Quite frankly, any backlash Yoo Eunseo suffered after doing that was justified, in my opinion. Like a lot of things, there doesn’t appear to be a clear-cut angel or villain in this, and quite frankly the entire friend group seems like a mess. The issue, I suppose, is that one side is/was a public figure and the other is just a random schoolgirl.
Either way, Source probably ended up doing the right thing in the big picture because LE SSERAFIM were thriving without her and adding her back into the mix with this ambiguity would’ve likely distracted from everything they’re accomplishing.
HYBE has responded to this by not responding.
In response to Kim Garam’s post, her former agency HYBE shared on August 11, “Due to the termination of Kim Garam’s contract, further comments are inappropriate so there is nothing for us to say.”
Interesting stance since their public posture on this helped fan the flames.