Wonho said he decided to leave Monsta X to save the group after past allegations of cannabis use emerged, despite having never touched drugs.
The singer, who was recently cleared of all drug charges following a police investigation, got candid in a recent interview with local news site Dispatch.
“I didn’t want to see Monsta X break apart because of me. I thought the group could be saved if I left the group as soon as possible.”
He also apologized to fans, saying, “I promised so much to fans and said I’d always be by their side. It’s regrettable that I had to leave this way.”
“I can’t forget my fans still and all I have is regret, like I should’ve done better? I just want to say ‘sorry.’” The singer added.
During the interview, Wonho also shared his experience of being bullied and growing up in a poor family, which led him to run away from home and coming under protective supervision as a juvenile.
He recalled hanging out with an older “brother” in his town to avoid being the subject of bullying.
“I once bumped into a bully while walking downstairs. I got scared but the bully apologized first, which made me feel a little too proud,” the singer said as he explained the impact of being associated with certain people.
Wonho, however, insisted he was innocent while the investigations were still ongoing, according to Dispatch.
“I’ve never used cannabis. Police are investigating and when I’m proven innocent, please write my story. I want to apologize and clear up the misunderstanding. I want to be forgiven,” he said in February.
He also touched upon his relationship with fans, famously known as “Monbebes.”
“I can say with pride that I completely changed after meeting Monbebes. I learned what it’s like to be loved. They made me want to live every day to the fullest.”
In October last year, the singer announced his departure in a handwritten letter. The move prompted fans to call for the former member to return to the group over the months to come.
On March 13, Starship Entertainment pledged to fully support Wonho for “developing his own career in the future” after the police cleared the singer of all drug charges after a monthslong investigation.
By Yim Hyun-su (firstname.lastname@example.org)