Ms. Jung rejected her agency’s statement that she quit voluntarily, saying she was forced out. In a statement released to local media, she said she secured the company’s agreement before launching her fashion business in early August. But a month later the agency and the group’s other members demanded that she choose either her music career or her venture, a decision she declined to make, she added.
Ms. Jung said the agency on Sept. 16 agreed to letting her continue the business activity but was told on Sept. 29 that she was no longer a Girls’ Generation member.
Girls’ Generation, one of K-pop’s biggest girl groups and a leading driver of the genre’s profile overseas, is no longer a nine-member act.
The group’s agency, SM Entertainment Co., on Tuesday told local media that Jessica, one of the group’s lead vocalists, had been let go from the group due to disagreements over her business activities in fashion.
The agency said that the singer privately announced earlier this year her retirement from the group and later founded her fashion business, Blanc Group, without securing agreement from the agency. The singer, whose last name is Jung, and the remaining members continue to be signed with the agency, it added.
On Weibo, the China-based Twitter-like service, Ms. Jung wrote that she had been informed of her exit from the group from the agency and the other eight members. She said she was “devastated” and added that she was pushed out “for no justifiable reason.”
SM Entertainment has a history of public disputes with their artists. Kris, a member of boy band EXO, in May filed a lawsuit against the agency to nullify his contract. In 2009 three of the five members of boy band TVXQ quit the group and sued the company for what they said was unfair terms of their contract. The three singers and the agency in 2012 dropped all legal filings following a court injunction.
The SM Entertainment spokeswoman didn’t answer calls on Tuesday. A spokeswoman for Ms. Jung’s company Blanc declined to comment and didn’t make Ms. Jung available for comment.
Early Tuesday the remaining eight members—Taeyeon, Tiffany, Sooyoung, Sunny, Yoona, Yuri, Seohyun and Hyoyeon—left for Shenzen, China for a fan event, local media reported. Ms. Jung didn’t appear at the airport terminal.
Formed in 2007, Girls’ Generation has become one of K-pop’s best-recognized acts, starting with their hit single “Gee” in 2009. The group gained popularity in other Asian countries but their attempt to crack the U.S. market in 2011 didn’t yield a similar commercial success.
Source: Korea Real Time