Interview: WONHO

Client: TEEN VOGUE

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Over the years, it appears that what makes Wonho truly happy hasn’t changed. He loves his workouts, his food, making his music, and his fans. Yet everything else in his life has shifted seismically. On October 31, 2019, Wonho announced his departure from MONSTA X following accusations from a former friend that he owed her a sizable sum of money. Simultaneously, a Seoul newspaper reported that he’d historically used marijuana and, separate to that claim, revealed he’d been sentenced to probation as a juvenile.

Monbebe (MONSTA X’s fandom) were left reeling but came together globally to protest Wonho’s departure, calling on his label, Starship Entertainment, to reinstate him. Over the coming months, they refused to back down, using social media and even hiring expensive digital billboards to keep up the pressure. Meanwhile in Seoul, the police investigation into his activities continued; on March 14, Wonho was cleared of all charges. While a reason to celebrate, it was also a dark postscript to a career of hit songs and global milestones that had been abruptly cut off.

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