Kim Garam had made her debut with HYBE‘s girl group, LE SSERAFIM in 2022, but not long after she was announced as an official member, she was accused of school bullying. With multiple accusations of serious incidents being made against the star, she was soon put on hiatus with the group continuing their debut promotions as a team of five. Ultimately, HYBE finally decided to let her go from the company and group. As of July 20, 2022, Kim Garam was no longer part of LE SSERAFIM.
As the whole saga finally came to an end, a netizen who claimed to be friends with Kim Garam stepped up via Instagram to claim that Kim Garam had been used by HYBE for noise marketing. Noise marketing is when buzz is created around something new, to help expose it to the public. Kim Garam’s alleged friend is insinuating that the company purposely debuted Garam amidst the rumors to help raise recognition for the group in the long run.
Kim Garam’s alleged friend also claimed that one of those that had exposed Kim Garam online was actually a bully.
She [the exposer] had bullied me from elementary school to middle school and she also cursed my parents and physically threatened me. She had come to me surprisingly, to pick bones about bullying me and she hid behind the name of a victim for around a month. Seeing her being comforted by others while I’m being blamed for a second round of bullying, I decided to post this as I feel it’s unfair. As Kim Garam’s friend, I gathered some statements from other friends as well as the materials I had and passed them on to her company but the adults [at the company] did not use them in the end, so as to protect their own image. They used an 18 year old high schooler [Kim Garam] for noise marketing and kicked her out like that.
— Kim Garam’s alleged friend
In response to the claims, HYBE made a statement to the news outlet, simply responding that it was “overboard guesswork” on the friend’s part.