South Korean company Cube Entertainment has announced that it will be removing its top star K-pop soloist HyunA and her boyfriend E'Dawn, from K-pop boyband Pentagon, after they came clean to fans last month that they had been dating for the past two years.
In an official statement released on Thursday (Sept 13), the label said: "We have put in our best efforts in working with our label artists in artist management through loyalty and trust in our relationship.
"After numerous discussions, it is with great pain that we have come to the conclusion that it will prove difficult for us to rebuild the broken loyalty and trust between these two artists, HyunA and E'Dawn; as a result, we have made the decision to remove them from our label."
However, the agency said in a statement later on Thursday that it has not confirmed its removal of the two singers, according to Yonhap news agency.
"We're discussing the issue, but it's not confirmed," the statement said. "The opinions of the artists are also important, so it needs be handled carefully. We'll have a board meeting next week to discuss this issue."
HyunA, 26, and E'Dawn, 24, were both artists managed by Cube Entertainment. The two even formed a mixed member project group Triple H with another Pentagon member, Hui, last year.
The two came out publicly as a couple on the same day that their label dismissed their dating rumours as untrue. Both received backlash from fans who were upset that the singers hid their relationship, and accused them of using a professional setting to disguise their romance.
HyunA, whose real name is Kim Hyun-ah, took to Instagram to explain to her 7.9 million followers her decision to go public.
She wrote: "I really wanted to be honest. For the fans who always support me and watch over me, I want to work hard on stage with a happy heart, with nothing to hide, as I always have."
E'Dawn, a relative newcomer to the K-pop scene whose real name is Kim Hyo-jong, was suspended from promoting with Pentagon after the news broke. He later wrote fans an open letter where he apologised for disappointing them and disappearing from his activities.
Cube Entertainment's announcement has prompted outrage from fans, who took to Twitter to lash out at the agency. Cube and HyunA made Twitter's top trending topics around noon on Thursday.
Fans said that Cube Entertainment made a mistake in kicking out HyunA, who is the company's most successful and well-established act with hits like Bubble Pop since she joined in 2008, and E'Dawn, who was doing well in Pentagon.
Many also said that K-pop idols are people and should be allowed to date without suffering such harsh repercussions.
The two artists have yet to respond to the agency's announcement.