Wonho Announces His Departure from Monsta X

K-pop boy band Monsta X will be moving forward as a six-member act, the group’s company Starship Entertainment announced on Thursday (Oct. 31). Singer-songwriter Wonho (Shin Ho-seok) has left the act amid a series of accusations made against him on social media regarding his past behavior. 

"After a long discussion with Monsta X's member Wonho, we have agreed that it's best to part ways amicably at this point,” reads a statement from Starship, published in both Korean and English on the company’s official Twitter account. 

"We greatly respect Wonho's decision who wants to make sure the recent chain of events doesn't distract from all the exciting things that are happening for Monsta X now and what lies ahead in the future." The group signed with Epic Records in May. They released their new single "Follow" and Follow: Find You album on Monday (Oct. 28). 

The company also said that it would continue to "hold legal liability for malicious and distorted claims related to this matter,” referring to a series of accusations made against Wonho by associates about events that occurred prior to his time in Monsta X; the group released their first single "Trespass" in 2015. Starship previously denied the claims and announced that it would take legal action against rumors associated with them. 

Shortly after Straship announced the news, Wonho, who had written many songs for the band, shared a picture of a handwritten letter to the group’s official fancafe, a sort of South Korean blog platform that many K-pop stars use to interact with their Korean audiences.  

“I have received undeserving blessings and love while promoting as a MONSTA X member,” he wrote, per Soompi’s translation. “I sincerely thank you for making precious memories for me. To the members who worked hard with me and stayed with me, I would like to tell them that I’m thankful and that I love them. [I would also like to show them] my apologetic heart.” 

In the letter, he also addressed the accusations, and asked for people to continue supporting Monsta X. “There was a time when I was immature and have made big and small mistakes, but after becoming a trainee and making my debut, I stayed on track and worked hard to avoid being ashamed of myself.” He then announced his departure, and apologized to the members of the act and disappointing fans, asking people to support Monsta X and distancing himself from the act.

"The members have nothing to do with me. I carefully ask that you at least give support and encouragement to the members," he said. "They are people who are too good to stop and get hurt like this because of someone like me. I am so thankful and apologetic to the staff, members, and lastly our fans who have allowed me to enjoy such happiness until this point."

Since the news, Monsta X has postponed a fan sign event in Korea today, while an outpouring of support on social media for Wonho trended on Twitter for several hours. Wonho is the third member of a K-pop boy band to leave his act in recent days; earlier this week, Woojin departed Stray Kids, and last week saw Hwall leave The Boyz.