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Soojin from (G)I-dle. The 23-year-old K-pop star has left the group over allegations she was a school bully, which she and the group’s label deny.

K-pop star Soojin leaves (G)I-dle following school bullying allegations; social media users defend her – and one of her accusers

  • The 23-year-old K-pop star and (G)I-dle’s label, Cube Entertainment, have denied she bullied classmates in middle school in South Korea
  • However, six months after the allegations first emerged, Cube announced Soojin has left (G)I-dle. The group will continue with its five remaining members
Tamar Hermanin United States

K-pop star Soojin’s exit from girl group (G)I-dle over allegations she bullied classmates when she was in middle school in South Korea has triggered a social media storm.

Soojin (born Seo Soo-jin) and (G)I-dle’s label, Cube Entertainment, have denied the allegations, which have dogged the K-pop star since they broke in February. Among her accusers is actress Seo Shin-ae. A former child actor, she is known for her role in shows including 2009’s High Kick Through the Roof and 2013’s The Queen’s Classroom.

Cube announced on Sunday that, with Soojin’s departure, the group would continue as a five-member act – Soyeon, Minnie, Shuhua, Yuqi, and Miyeon.

Following Cube’s announcement, terms such as “(G)I-dle is six” trended on social media, posted by fans of the group, who also defended the 23-year-old Soojin.

Girl group (G)I-dle perform on stage at an event in Seoul in January, 2020. With Soojin’s departure, the group will continue as a five-piece act. Photo: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Some fans of the singer also took to Seo’s YouTube account to leave comments blaming the actress for the departure.

“People defend this actress saying she’s the victim here, but this girl ended up doing exactly what she claimed to be a victim of, or even worse, she ruined someone’s career and dream,” wrote one individual. “And those who defend her … I bet most of them have done bullying in their lives at least once and even harder. Just because they’re not famous or recognised [they] feel like they can just point their fingers at people as if they’re angels … most of you are not.”

Other social media users who supported the decision that Soojin will leave (G)I-dle likewise flooded the comments section, responding to the K-pop star’s supporters and sending Seo messages of love.

“You’re coming to someone else’s house and making a scene,” wrote one user, ostensibly targeting those sending Seo hate on her own YouTube page. “Get a hold of yourself and get out of here.”

(G)I-dle made their debut in 2018, and released their fourth EP, I Burn, in January. Soojin has been on a hiatus since the allegations broke in February.

K-pop girl group (G)I-dle. The group will continue making music with its five remaining members. Credit: Cube Entertainment

Soojin is just the latest South Korean celebrity to be held to account for bad behaviour in their youth. This year alone, members of K-pop groups Seventeen and Stray Kids have also faced allegations of bullying dating back to their school years.