SOUTH KOREA - Jessica Jung has revealed that she had a falling-out with the other members of Girls' Generation over her new fashion business.
Jung, 25, who was kicked out of the popular nine-member K-pop girl group on Tuesday, gave her side of the story in a statement to the media yesterday.
SM Entertainment (SM), which manages the group, had accused Jung of sidelining the group by prioritising her fashion business, Blanc.
But Jung said she had always put Girls' Generation activities before her business and personal life.
To this end, she had consulted "sufficiently" with SM and her colleagues about the launch of Blanc in August and had sought their understanding.
She said she received their approval and well wishes, but early last month, the other girls suddenly changed their tune.
"(They were) telling me to either quit my business or leave Girls' Generation without any justifiable reason," Jung said.
"I explained that I had received permission from the agency, that I had never neglected Girls' Generation's activities, and I could not suddenly stop my business after only a month due to my contract with my business partner.
"Ultimately, I pleaded that it was unfair to make me choose.
"Becoming a member of Girls' Generation was the best thing in my life, and I've never thought about quitting."
Jung said that she met SM's CEO two weeks ago and got the go-ahead to continue her business. Then, on Monday, she was given a notice asking her to leave the group.
Jung's version of events only served to feed earlier online speculation that her fashion business was a smokescreen for the real reason for her ouster - her rumoured impending marriage to Korean-American CEO Tyler Kwon.
Although Kwon posted on Chinese microblog Weibo yesterday that he has no plans of marrying Jung in the near future, that did not stop reports of their pending nuptials.
HITCHED IN HK
Korean media Sports Donga reported in an exclusive that the couple would be getting hitched in Hong Kong in May next year.
Entertainment industry insiders also said that the couple would divide their time between Hong Kong and New York, US, where Kwon is CEO of Coridel Capital Partners.
Jung ended her letter by expressing sorrow over her departure.
She wrote: "I have received great pain and cannot hide my sadness when I was asked by the agency and my fellow members, whom I spent 15 years with, putting in all my passion and effort, to leave Girls' Generation just because I am starting my own business.
"I also want to apologise for causing concern to all the fans. Understand that this is not the situation I imagined."
Some of the remaining members - Taeyeon, Tiffany, Seohyun, Sunny, Hyoyeon, Yuri, Sooyoung and Yoona - broke down during a fan meet on Tuesday in China.
The crowd, who heard of Jung's departure that morning, paid tribute to her by carrying the letter "J" lit in pink and singing her parts in the songs which the other members left unsung.
This article was first published on October 2, 2014.
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