PETALING JAYA, July 6 — Jimin, the leader of K-pop group AOA, has announced that she will leave the band and the K-pop industry after she apologised for bullying a former groupmate to the point of suicide.
AOA’s label FNC Entertainment confirmed Jimin’s withdrawal in a brief statement issued yesterday.
“First of all, we’d like to apologise on behalf of our artist Jimin and the controversy involving her.
“Jimin has decided to quit AOA and retire from the entertainment industry altogether.
“We, as the agency, feel responsible for the situation. We will work harder to provide better management for our artists. Again, we apologize for making the fans worry,” the company said, based on translations by Koreaboo.
The statement comes after former AOA member Mina, 26, uploaded a series of Instagram posts last weekend accusing Jimin, 29, of bullying her for 10 years and causing her severe mental distress.
Mina also shared graphic photos of scars on her wrists as a result of self-harm.
“Honestly, I really didn’t want to quit AOA, but because of someone who hated me, I was bullied for 10 years,” Mina said in one of her posts.
Mina also revealed she never got to say goodbye to her father when he died of pancreatic cancer in 2014 as she was afraid of being scolded by Jimin for interrupting the group’s promotion schedules.
She also confessed that she had attempted suicide because of Jimin’s treatment towards her.
On July 4, Mina said that Jimin and her former AOA members and managers had visited her to discuss the situation, though the atmosphere was initially hostile when Jimin entered her home.
“Jimin kept asking for a knife, saying things like ‘Would everything be resolved if I disappeared?’ and so on. But we ended up sitting down and talking.
“(Jimin) kept telling me that she doesn’t remember. I told her everything I remember.
“Of course, I wasn’t in my right mind then so I don’t remember the details. But I looked her in the eyes and explained what she did or didn’t do to me,” said Mina.
Jimin eventually apologised later that day on her Instagram, admitting that her leadership style had caused her to become a person “lacking in humanity.”
“When I was younger, I lived my early 20s thinking that my team should only show our good sides to our staff and the public.
“But I think that led me to have a mindset that caused me to be a leader who was lacking in humanity.
“I’m sorry for creating controversy. I’m sorry for my careless writing.
“And most of all, I’m sincerely sorry to Mina and the members who have worked so hard for the both of us,” she wrote.
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