Lee Jonghyun has decided to leave pop rock band CNBLUE after a YouTuber exposed direct messages he sent to her on Instagram.
“First of all, I would like to once again apologize to those who have been hurt by my inappropriate words and doings as well as those who feel greatly disappointed about me,” Jonghyun said in a statement released by his agency, FNC Entertainment, according to Ten Asia and V Live Today.
He added, “Besides, although it is late, I still would like to announce my withdrawal from CNBLUE. I also expressed my intention to leave the group in my discussion with the members since I feel sorry that they have suffered damages because of me. I feel so ashamed and embarrassed to disappoint fans who believed me.”
On Aug. 28, Korean YouTuber Park Min-jung posted on Instagram a screenshot of Jonghyun’s direct messages to her, which read, “I’m watching your YouTube regularly” and “Your belly fat is so cute.”
Jonghyun is currently fulfilling his military service since enlisting in August last year.
The Instagram scandal is the latest incident involving Jonghyun after he was implicated in the infamous “KakaoTalkgate” scandal of Jung Joon-young, who uploaded videos of women without their consent on KakaoTalk chat rooms.
In April, SBS reported the KakaoTalk chat conversations between Jung Joon-young and Jonghyun which happened a few years ago.
Jonghyun told Jung Joon-young to give him “some girls.” When Jung Joon-young asked him “Who do you want,” Lee replied, “Anyone you haven’t [expletive] would be better, but any pretty [expletive],” the Korea JoongAng Daily reported.
“Don’t you have any young and pretty and nice [expletive]? Easy to play with,” Jonghyun asked Jung Joon-young on a different date.
His agency admitted that Jonghyun watched Jung Joon-young’s sex videos, saying “We are fully aware that watching the videos or having inappropriate conversations deserves criticism. We send our apologies to everyone who has been hurt and were disappointed by the immoral utterances that were made without remorse.”
In his latest statement, Jonghyun added, “Because all the members, including me, are serving in the army, it took a long time to deliver our opinions and make announcements. I am also grateful and sorry to the company who has been waiting for me until now.”
“I bitterly repent of my mistakes and I’m willing to accept everyone’s criticism and condemnation. I’m sorry for making a bad reputation with my wrongful actions,” he said.
With his departure, CNBLUE is now left with three members: Jung Yong-hwa, Lee Jung-shin and Kang Min-hyuk.