HYBE Labels and Source Music have issued an official statement in response to school bullying rumors raised against LE SSERAFIM member Kim Garam.
Earlier this week, several netizens claiming to be former classmates of Kim Garam took to online communities to raise school bullying accusations against the soon-to-debut idol. Netizens claimed that Kim Garam was famous at her middle school for smoking, drinking underage, and bullying many classmates at school. One netizen uploaded several screen shots of text messages allegedly exchanged between Kim Garam and an acquaintance, and accused Kim Garam of cursing and threatening her classmates if they refused to pick up her calls. Another netizen further claimed that a classmate was sent to the emergency room due to Kim Garam's actions.
However, according to Source Music,
"Since yesterday when the online rumors surrounding Kim Garam were first raised, HYBE has made efforts to confirm the facts. After a thorough search, we have discovered that:
- The accusations revolved around instances during the beginning of Kim Garam's middle school days, when she was just getting to know her classmates, and such instances were edited with malicious intent to problematize past events,
- A third party has confirmed that Kim Garam was in fact not a school bully, but a victim of various malicious rumors and cyber bullying during her middle school days.
- Furthermore, the rumors that Kim Garam was a trainee at a different agency, or rumors that inside documents from HYBE Labels have been leaked, are entirely false.
We believe that a large number of these accusations have been raised to slander our artist, who will be making her debut soon, and Source Music has begun procedures to move forward with strict legal action against any who spread one-sided, exaggerated rumors or false content regarding our artist."