Seo Soo-jin to drop first new music in two years after bullying allegations
Seo Soo-jin, former member of girl group (G)I-DLE, is preparing to make a comeback to the K-pop scene as a solo artist this month, Korean news outlets said Monday.
Entertainment news outlet Spotv News said Monday that Seo is "quietly preparing to make a solo comeback." It was soon followed by another report from News1 that she signed with a newly founded K-pop agency BRD Communications, preparing to make a comeback this month.
Seo, who went by her first name Soojin as her stage name, quit (G)I-DLE in August 2021 after facing school violence allegations.
Accusations emerged in February of that year when several people online accused her of abusing her schoolmates in middle school, both verbally and physically.
Soojin initially denied the allegations, but as more accusers came forward, including actor Seo Shin-ae, who attended the same school as the singer, Soojin suspended all her activities in March and kept a low profile for months.
Seo reported the person who made the initial accusation to the police for defamation, but the police dropped the case, and Cube Entertainment, (G)I-DLE's agency, terminated its exclusive contract with Seo.
"It's true that I had not been the most diligent of students during middle school because I had been interested in singing and dancing," Seo later told the press through her attorney in September last year.
"It's true that I was involved in school bullying, but I was never punished for any of them. I know that's not proof that I did not bully anyone, but had there been any severe violence, abuse or exploitation, then I would have been punished."
On June 30, Seo opened an Instagram account for the first time in two years and began communicating with her followers.
(G)I-DLE has been active as a group of five since Seo's absence, releasing hit songs such as "Tomboy" (2022), "Nxde" (2022) and most recently, "Queen Card."
(G)I-DLE is currently on its "I am FREE-TY" world tour that began in June in Seoul. The girl group held two concerts in Macao over the weekend, meeting with 21,000 fans over the course of two days.
The quintet dropped its first U.S. EP "Heat" on Oct. 6 and is set to wrap up the tour with a concert in Singapore on Oct. 29.
BY YOON SO-YEON [firstname.lastname@example.org]