South Korean boy group EXO member Chen has announced that he will be getting married to his non-celebrity girlfriend and that he was expecting a child. Chen, whose real name is Kim Jongdae, posted a handwritten letter to EXO's fancafe, in which he shared the news with fans. He mentioned that he has "a girlfriend” with whom he would like to be with “the rest of [his] life”.
He wrote that he has discussed his decision with his management company SM Entertainment and his fellow EXO members before choosing to share the news publicly. SM Entertainment also released a statement thereafter, confirming that Chen will be marrying his girlfriend in a private ceremony.
EXO fans, known as EXO-Ls, have come out in support of their idol, which is a welcome sign in the South Korean pop industry. Several idols in the past had to either retire or face the wrath of possessive fans when they chose to marry or date anyone publicly.
Here is the English translation of Chen’s statement:
"Hello, this is Chen.
I am writing this because I have something to tell our fans. I don’t know how to start this, and I’m very nervous. Although these words are not enough, I’m writing this letter because I want to honestly tell our fans, who gave us so much love, first.
I have a girlfriend I want to spend the rest of my life with. I was worried and concerned about the situations that would arise as a result of this decision, but I had been discussing with the agency and our members because I wanted to announce the news at least a little bit earlier so I wouldn’t surprise you with the sudden news.
Then, a blessing came my way. I am also taken aback, as I cannot do what I had planned with the agency and members, but this blessing has given me more strength.
I couldn’t lose any more time thinking about when or how I should announce this, so I mustered up my courage.
I’m really thankful for my members for genuinely congratulating me after hearing this news, and I deeply thank our fans for sending me so much undeserving love.
I will never forget this feeling of gratitude, do my best in my place without changing, and return the love you have given me.
Thank you always.”
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