Yesterday, AOA's Main Vocal Choa announced via Instagram that she has left AOA due to a long battle with depression and insomnia.
Her statement is below:
“Hello, this is Choa.
“I was very grateful and sorry that so many people took interest in my sudden hiatus. This is a bit late, but I want to tell you the reason why I had to rest and the decision that I came to after lots of deliberation.
“Since AOA wasn’t a team that immediately received a lot of love when we debuted, I had always been grateful for the love we got and I think preciously of it.
“Although I was the oldest on the team, I’m still very young and I wanted to cry a lot of times while working. However, I know that the reason you like me is because of my bright image. Although I was crying in my heart, I had to look happy. This happened repeatedly, and the more I forced myself, I found myself becoming sicker and sicker.
“To treat my insomnia and depression, I tried taking medication and started decreasing my work two years ago. However, because the problem didn’t stem from being tired, I ended up stopping all of my activities.
“I tried hard to get back to work while thinking of those who were waiting for me, but I felt that if the negative attention of my hiatus continued, this would be even more detrimental to the team members.
“After speaking with our company, I am leaving the team called AOA today, and I’m going to be cheering on my fellow members.
“Over the past eight years while I prepared to become a celebrity and worked as one, I learned a lot of things. I think that even this difficult moment is a process for me to grow. I am 28 years old this year, and going forward, I will be reflecting on my chaotic self. For the remainder of my 20s, I would like to fill them with different experiences that are befitting of my age.
“As of now, I am not thinking about doing any work outside of my individual work that was already planned. Someday, when I no longer feel scared and feel that I can show a better side of me, and if there are still people who cheer me on, I would like to return. I am a lacking person, but to those who keep cheering me on and worry for me, I would like to give my sincere thanks. To the members who I have been with for so long, and to those who helped me overcome what I lack so that I can be loved, and to those who loved me and AOA, thank you very much from the bottom of my heart.”
Her company FNC Entertainment released a statement shortly after stating that Choa's departure/future role in AOA has not yet been decided and in currently in discussion.
Following Choa'a announcement, photos were released of the idol and a male friend with headlines insinuating she had left AOA in order to get married. The artist again took to her Instagram account with a clarifying statement and photo of her and her two sisters on vacation in Japan last month.
“I knew that with more attention there would be more possible rumors, but I’m not pregnant, I didn’t have an abortion, and I’m not leaving the team to get married.
“There are many people who work while they’re dating. If I wanted to date, I could have just said so and worked at the same time, so I don’t know why my leaving the group is being connected with dating rumors.
“I don’t have many friends, so it’s true that he has been a lot of help to me recently. Since dating isn’t a crime, if our relationship goes forward in the future, I will say so honestly and date. Leaving the team was a difficult decision I made after a lot of deliberation, so I hope that other issues don’t get connected with it.
“They had been telling me that they would reveal those photos so I had been under a lot of pressure mentally, but it actually feels freeing now.
“To explain the article that was posted today, I would like to upload my own photo. The article implied that I had been on a trip with just him, but it was the first time I went on a trip abroad with my sisters.
“My younger sister, who is in her first year of middle school, likes to draw and likes animation, so we chose Japan, hoping that it would be helpful for her in the future. Because I am the only person who can speak even a bit of Japanese, and since it was my family’s first time visiting Japan, I had to take care of everything. I had never been to Japan outside of my schedules, so it was difficult making reservations in Japanese and looking for places to visit. I asked my friend, who I had been close with since three years ago, for help. On the days when we had the same schedules, he helped guide us; and on the way back, it was late and we had a lot of luggage, so he gave us a ride back. It seems like the two photos were taken then.
“A while ago, the first time it was reported that we were dating, the reporter asked me about the circumstances at which the pictures were taken, so I explained exactly as above. So I can’t understand how this article was written with a headline such as ‘They were in love before the dating rumors’ as if it was just the two of us on the trip.
“Also, I voiced my thoughts on leaving the team to my agency a long time ago. Two years ago, they told me to take a hiatus and to think hard about it, so I tried that. In the end, I got my CEO’s consent yesterday and wrote that post on my social media. Before I did, I showed the contents to the company and even deleted the parts that they didn’t want me to post.
“I already relayed my thoughts regarding leaving the team, and I hope the other members are not affected negatively by this controversy. I am sorry for worrying so many people with bad news this morning.”
Choa is both incredibly self-aware and mature to be able to express herself, her struggles and hope for the future in such an articulate manner. I applaud her for having the strength to be so honest with the public about her illness and stand firm despite attacks from the media. She's had to endure a lot during her 8 years with AOA and suffered in silence long enough. I'm happy she's taking the time to take care of herself and find happiness.
Good luck Choa!!!!
SO BEAST MOD SQUAD:
MELODY MOD SQUAD:
ODD SPIRIT MOD SQUAD:
VIXXEN MOD SQUAD:
CHOCO CONE CREW:
SAVAGE THUNDER MAFIA:
HELLO BITCHES GANG: