Wonho is leaving the band Monsta X – confirming his departure in a letter to fans.
The K-Pop star apologised to fans in the letter for ‘causing them pain’, saying: ‘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.’
The band will be continuing as a six-piece with members Shownu, Minhyuk, Kihyun, Hyungwon, Joohoney and IM in the wake of Wonho’s departure.
Here’s what you need to know about Wonho.
How old is Wonho and what is his real name?
Wonho is 26 years old, and was born on 1 March 1993 in Gunpo-si, South Korea.
His real name is Lee Ho-seok.
Wonho had been a member of Monsta X since they first formed in 2015.
The band have so far released five studio albums and earlier this year played to a sell-out crowd at Wembley Arena, as well as becoming the first K-Pop band ever to appear on Good Morning Britain.
Monsta X achieved further success earlier this year when they were nominated in the K-Pop category at the MTV VMAs for their English language single Who Do U Love featuring French Montana.
They were shortlisted in the category along with the likes of BTS, Blackpink, EXO, NCT 127 and Tomorrow x Together.
Why is Wonho leaving Monsta X?
Although no reason has been given for his leaving the band, Monho’s departure comes amid a rumour that he borrowed money from Jung Du Eun and did not pay Da Eun back – allegations which have been denied by Starship Entertainment.
A statement from the company said: ‘First, we would like to express our gratitude and appreciation to all of you who have sent a lot of love to MONSTA X in recent days and over time.
‘After a long discussion with MONSTA X’s member Wonho, we have agreed that it’s best to part ways amicably at this point.
‘We greatly respect Wonho’s decision who wants to make sure the recent chain of events doesn’t distract from all of the exciting things that are happening for MONSTA X now and what lies ahead in the future. We will continue to hold legal liability for malicious and distorted claims related to this matter.
‘We apologise greatly for any inconvenience this may have caused to our fans.
‘Wonho will not attend any schedule from today and MONSTA X will continue with this week’s scheduled music broadcast as a six member band. We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused to the many involved parties.
‘We regret to announce this disappointing news especially to the amazing MONSTA X fans who have always supported and cared for the group. We promise to return with better music and stage for MONSTA X fans.’
The rumour began on 29 October when Jung Da Eun shared an Instagram post of the star on TV and captioned it: ‘Ho Seok, when are you going to pay me back?’
Han Seo Hee commented on the post: ‘Give Da Eun her 30 million won (£20,000).’
Starship denied the claim, saying: ‘It is not true, and we are looking into the possibility of taking legal action.’
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