Former Monsta X star Wonho is back after deal with Highline, ecstatic fans hope for a massive reunion soon
Monsta X's Wonho is returning to the industry as a solo artist and Monbebes are happy — and proud!
It's been a sad few months for the fandom of K-Pop group Monsta X after Wonho (real name Lee Ho Seok) announced his departure from the group last year due to his legal woes and another member, Joohoney, taking a break to focus on his mental health. The remaining members continued to promote their album 'All About Luv' as a group of five.
But things started to look up when Wonho was cleared of all the charges pertaining to the use of drugs. There were many other accusations against Wonho, and he chose to address some of them in an interview with Dispatch, also offering a heartfelt apology to his fans stating "There were many things I promised to them. That I would always be by their side. I’m sorry that I had to leave like this. I’d lived with only them in my mind," adding "In the past, I lived as Lee Ho Seok and in the present, I lived as Wonho. Does Wonho really have no responsibility in what Lee Ho Seok has done? I have to shoulder that responsibility. I hurt people with my past. I wanted to minimize that pain."
He concluded by saying "I still can’t forget our fans. I am full of regret. Just feeling like I should have done better for them? I just wanted to say I’m sorry."
Following his name being cleared, many wondered what the idol would do next. South Korean idols who deal with controversies often find the accusations derailing their careers significantly, and idols who leave groups quite often end up leaving the industry as well.
Many worried that Wonho might meet a similar fate, but it appears that won't be the case.
The idol has signed a new deal with Highline Entertainment, a subsidiary label of the company Starship Entertainment who manages Monsta X, in addition to groups WJSN (also called 'Cosmic Girls') and Cravity. After signing on to Highline, Wonho released a statement saying, "I deeply regret the foolish and rash behavior of the past...I really appreciate the fans for giving me this opportunity, and I will do my best to repay your support."
Starship remained fully supportive of Wonho throughout his legal battles, and it appears Highline intends to do the same, stating they "will give full support to Wonho to be a solo artist in the future."
Fans took to Twitter to share their joy, stating "I will support Wonho in everything he decides to do. I knew it was a possibility during our battle. Personally, it hurts but im so immensely proud that my baby is back Im just glad we get to hear from him again." One fan said, "ya'll one of my babies has finally returned! ahh @official__wonho you're really here. for real. we missed you so muuuch!" while another tweeted, "monsta x world tour where new solo artist wonho is the opener. #WONHOISBACK #OurProducerWonho."
Many also spoke about idols having a tough time returning after scandals threaten their career. One fan stated, "I honestly wasn’t expecting this at all like omg but I’m so happy for him really I’m so glad you’re back babie i missed you," while another shared, "HEY! YOU! I’M SO PROUD OF YOU. DO YOU REALIZE HOW FAST THIS HAPPENED? YOU SUPPORTED THIS BOY AND MADE SURE HIS DREAM DIDN’T GET KILLED BY AN INTERNET TROLL. YOU DID THAT. THANK YOU FOR STAYING. THANK YOU FOR FIGHTING. WE WON BEBE."
Fellow Monsta X member Joohoney is also reportedly ready to resume his activities with the group, and it was announced that Monsta X would be making a comeback as six members later this year. Given that Wonho is still on the same label as Monsta X, it is quite possible the group will be able to work together as seven members again someday in the near future.