Those who are familiar with the wildly popular K-pop band Stray Kids remember the departure of singer and performer Woojin back in October 2019. Although the singer's reasons for leaving weren't extremely clear, he has since remained relevant in the media... and not all of the attention has been particularly positive.
What happened to Woojin? Why did he decide to leave Stray Kids? Keep reading for everything we know regarding the K-pop singer's latest endeavors.
Who is Woojin, and why did he leave Stray Kids?
Kim Woojin is a 23-year-old South Korean musician who had been performing with Stray Kids since they first debuted back in 2017. Woojin had been the group's lead vocalist, and surprisingly, he was their oldest member. In his spare time, when Woojin isn't singing or performing, it seems as though he thoroughly enjoys traveling, going out with friends, and shopping... average 20-something-year-old activities.
At the end of 2019, Stray Kids' label, JYP Entertainment, officially announced that Woojin was quitting the band. In an official statement which was translated to English by Metro UK, the record label said: "Woojin, who has been with Stray Kids as a member until this time, has left the group due to personal circumstances and terminated his exclusive contract. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused many fans."
Following Woojin's departure, according to Meaww, he has continued organizing solo meet-ups with fans, focused on self-improvement, and implied that he is going to release merchandise sometime soon. But he is now also in the midst of a legal battle because of some recent alarming accusations against him.
The accusations against Woojin are extremely disturbing.
According to Korea Boo, several anonymous fans have come out with sexual assault allegations against Woojin. One woman posted to Twitter in both Korean and English, explaining that she and a friend reportedly met Woojin at a bar, and they started talking. Before long, she said he began touching her without consent, and although she denied his advances, she said he continued, and kept reminding them he was famous.
Another woman posted a series of tweets on April 29, 2020 saying she met Woojin while he was buying a bottle of whiskey. He started hitting on her and she felt uncomfortable. She says she tried to leave and he grabbed her, pulling her wrist towards his genitals, and she screamed.
Woojin's denies the claims against him.
Woojin's tweet, translated into English, reads: "Hello. This is Kim Woojin. Today, I am suffering from an absurd situation… I am posting this to tell my fans about that situation. Someone on Twitter posted weird rumors and then deleted their account… I haven’t met that person, and I didn’t go to the places mentioned."
He continued: "My fans must have been very worried, but please don’t worry too much because none of that is true. Also, recently, I signed a contract with an agency that matches me, and I am preparing hard for my solo activities. My new company is preparing to take action against the people who spread the false rumors, and they will relay their statement afterwards, so please don’t worry too much. Then I will share more news about myself. Thank you."
Yoon Isaac from 10X Entertainment (which Woojin claims is his new label) has denied the allegations against Woojin. In an interview for Naver (which was originally conducted in Korean and translated into English), he says that some photos that were used to try to incriminate Woojin were illegally obtained and even possibly doctored. Yoon Issac contends that some fans may be spreading false rumors in an attempt to sully Woojin's reputation after learning he had left Stray Kids.
None of the allegations against Woojin have been confirmed as of publication.
If you need support, The National Sexual Assault Hotline is available 24/7 at 1-800-656-4673. You will be connected with a trained staff member in your area. Or visit RAINN.org to chat online with a support specialist at any time.