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9 things to know about Jessica‘s exit from Girls’ Generation

By Ock Hyun-ju

Published : Oct. 1, 2014 - 18:14

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Girls’ Generation, one of the most popular K-pop girl bands in Asia, is facing its toughest time since its debut in 2007 after Jessica claimed on Tuesday that she was “forced out” of the group by her agency.

The news first went viral after Jessica accused her label SM Entertainment of unfairly dismissing her from the group without any warning through her Weibo account.

The group’s fans refused to believe what Jessica claimed, and some even raised speculations that the account had been hacked.

A few hours later, SM Entertainment confirmed that Jessica would no longer be a part of the band due to the clash of priorities between Jessica’s fashion business and the group’s activities.

The Korea Herald has listed the latest speculations surrounding Jessica’s exit from Girls’ Generation, taken from reports in local entertainment outlet Dispatch.

1. Who is Jessica?

Jessica, whose real name is Jung Jessica Sooyeon, was born in San Francisco, California.

She was discovered by SM Entertainment on the street at age 11, after her family returned to Korea. The Korean-American then signed a management contract with SM and continued on to debut as a member of Girls’ Generation in 2007.

After her debut, the 25-year-old broadened her career, gaining recognition as an all-round entertainer. She is a main vocalist, singer-songwriter, dancer, model, actress and also a fashion designer.

She recently launched her own fashion brand BLANC in August, which is cited as one reason behind the feud between the starlet and SM Entertainment.

Her sister is Krystal, a member of SM idol group f(x).

2. Was Jessica forced out?

SM Entertainment removed her from the group, but it stated that it was Jessica who expressed her wish to leave the band first.

According to sources, Jessica also reportedly told the other members last January that she wanted to get married sometime next year.

After the group wrapped up its concert in July, the starlet allegedly said she could not bear it anymore and wanted to get her life back.

3. Was Jessica willing to continue on as a member of Girls’ Generation?

According to reports and speculation, Jessica allegedly did not seem willing to be a part of Girls’ Generation as she continued to talk about her future plans -- marriage, study abroad and fashion business.

In a press statement released Tuesday, SM Entertainment said that early this year, the company and Jessica had come to an agreement that she would continue in the group until its new album was released early next year.

But Jessica appeared too busy with her personal business that she started with her rumored boyfriend Tyler Kwon. After they launched BLANC, Jessica spent most of her time abroad.

4. Who is Tyler Kwon?

Tyler Kwon is also Korean-American, like Jessica. He studied at Michigan University and works in an investment firm.

Jessica allegedly said to other members of Girls’ Generation that she hoped to marry Kwon in October next year in Hong Kong. 

5. Did Girls’ Generation oppose Jessica’s business?


Reportedly, the other members in the group supported Jessica’s plans to start her own business. But they thought she would start it after her marriage.

Jessica’s unexpected, rapid launch of the fashion brand surprised the others, but they still supported her even though they had one clear request. That Jessica not put her business before activities with Girls’ Generation.

6. Did SM allow Jessica to open the business?

SM Entertainment was allegedly concerned about Jessica’s plan, worried that she would use the group’s popularity to market her fashion brand. But the company did not have any right to stop her.

7. Why did Jessica suddenly want to stay on the team?

Jessica’s speculated future plans -- study abroad, marry and settle in New York -- were the main reasons behind her agreement to release one more album with Girls’ Generation and then leave.

However, it is suspected that after returning from an alleged visit to the office of JYJ’s lawyer on Aug. 15, her stance dramatically changed. The lawyer has since denied the meeting took place.

Jessica suddenly turned to the other members and reportedly said she wanted to stay in the group even after her marriage.

8. Is Jessica’s new brand BLANC doing well?

Jessica launched the brand BLANC on Aug. 6. She unveiled sunglasses first, with perfumes, accessories and clothes lined up to be launched soon.

With Jessica’s popularity in Asia, the brand is rapidly broadening its presence on the continent.

She opened one store in Hong Kong and plans to open more in Singapore, Thailand and Shanghai.

9. Any possibility Jessica can rejoin Girls’ Generation?

As long as her business with the brand BLANC flourishes in Asia, it is unlikely that she will return as a member of the group.

By Ock Hyun-ju (laeticia.ock@heraldcorp.com)

[Photo Credit: OSEN]