SINGAPORE - For rabid fans of Korean pop's biggest girl group, it is their worst nightmare coming true - Jessica Jung has been kicked out of Girls' Generation.
Korean management agency SM Entertainment (SM) announced this on Tuesday but added that the singer, 25, remains signed to SM.
The nine-member K-pop group reportedly renewed their contracts for another three years in August.
Just before SM's announcement, Jung posted on Chinese microblog Weibo that she was "devastated" that she had been "forced out" without justifiable reason.
So what has she done to deserve such a horrible fate?
SM's official reason in a statement yesterday pinned it on her lack of commitment to the group.
Earlier this year, Jung, citing her personal situation, said she would stop group activities after one more album, SM added.
Although the group continued working hard, recent developments such as Jung starting a fashion business had created a situation where the team could no longer go on.
Girls' Generation left for a fan meet in China yesterday without her.
The eight remaining members - Taeyeon, Tiffany, Seohyun, Sunny, Hyoyeon, Yuri, Sooyoung and Yoona - looked suitably solemn when they declined to answer media questions about Jung's sudden ouster at Incheon International Airport in South Korea.
But if online speculation on "Jessica's exile" is anything to go by, the truth is that Jung is about to commit one of K-pop's cardinal sins: It seems she has had the temerity to find herself a man who wants to marry her.
The lucky man is Tyler Kwon, the Korean-American CEO of Coridel Group, whose interests include asset management and entertainment.
It was previously rumoured that Jung was the third party in Mr Kwon's break-up with Hong Kong actress Gillian Chung, although all parties have denied it.
Three weeks ago, Chinese media reported that "it looks like Jessica and Tyler will be getting married soon".
They been seen together in China, the US, Hong Kong and South Korea. Mr Kwon has also reportedly met Jung's parents.