by REERA YOO
Seems like Jessica of Girls’ Generation is making all the headlines today.
On Sept. 30, SM Entertainment released an official statement confirming that Jessica will be leaving Girls’ Generation, one of K-pop’s most popular girl groups and a driving force of the genre overseas.
The agency told local media that “due to her personal situation” Jessica previously notified them about halting team activities after the release of one more album. However, due to the lack of specific negotiations, Jessica launched her fashion brand, Blanc, without prior consultation from SM. This caused a conflict of interests regarding the prioritization of Girls’ Generation’s activities, and despite ongoing talks, the situation has reached a point where the team can no longer be maintained.
“Thus, the agency had no choice but to pull up the plan for Girls’ Generation’s activities as eight members. While we were still working out the timing of the announcement, Jessica had already posted about her departure in her own words early this morning,” SM said.
On her Weibo, a China-based social media platform, Jessica wrote a message in both Korean and English, saying that she had been “forced out” of the group. Many fans first believed that the account was hacked since hacking is such a common occurrence among K-pop star’s social media accounts and no confirmation from SM was available at the time.
(Photo credit: Koreaboo)
The announcement of Jessica’s departure has spurred dozens of rumors from both the Korean and Chinese media.
According to Sports Donga, multiple industry officials have already confirmed that Jessica and her rumored Korean-American boyfriend Tyler Kwon, a CEO of a finance company, are planning to marry this coming May.
“They have already wrapped all major preparations for the wedding. The wedding will be in Hong Kong, and the two will live in both New York and Hong Kong,” reported Sports Donga.
Other media sources added that Jessica has been looking into design schools in New York to attend after her wedding. However, SM has denied all reports about Jessica and Kwon’s romantic relationship, despite photos and witness accounts of the two being seen together in Seoul, Hong Kong, and New York.
Jessica and Tyler Kwon backstage at the Huading Awards. (Photo credit: Jessica’s Weibo)
The Chinese media reported earlier this month that Jessica and Kwon were engaged, saying that the two were seen wearing similar rings in their Weibo photos. (Photo credit: TV Report)
This is not the first time SM Entertainment has had a member exit a group. This past May, EXO member Kris filed a lawsuit against the agency to nullify his contract. In mid-2009, members Kim Junsu, Kim Jaejoong, and Park Yoochun left the group TVXQ and sued the agency for unfair terms of their contracts, including its lengthy term of 13 years. The three then left the company to form their own group JYJ. In the same year, former Super Junior member Hangeng also filed a lawsuit against the agency to terminate his contract and returned to China to pursue a solo career.
While Jessica is no longer a part of Girls’ Generation, she and the other eight members have recently renewed their contracts with SM for an additional 3 years. Thus, Jessica will remain with the agency until further notice.
“We will continue to support and manage Jessica’s individual activities and Girls’ Generation’s activities as eight members,” SM concluded in its statement.
Meanwhile, SM Entertainment’s stocks are suffering a 5 percent drop since the company announced Jessica’s departure from the group, according to Venture Capital Post.