Wonho

KUALA LUMPUR: Fans of K-Pop group Monsta X are pushing for the return of its former member Wonho after the singer left the seven-member boy band earlier this month.

Wonho quit Monsta X amidst rumours that he had smoked marijuana and had multiple bad debts.

Entertainment portal Asia One reported today that the group returned from an eight-month break in October with the launch of its new album, Follow: Find You.

However, the release was overshadowed by the controversies surrounding Wonho, whose real name is Lee Ho-Seok.

Wonho left the band after South Korean television personality Jung Da-Eun claimed that he had smoked marijuana with her in 2013 and later posted on social media: "Wonho, when are you going to pay me back my money?"

However, since his departure, hashtags such as #FightForWonho and #WonhoWeGotYourBack have been trending on Twitter and a crowd-funding campaign even paid for a billboard in New York's Times Square urging the group to stay together.

After Wonho's agency, Starship Entertainment, rejected Jung's claims that the singer owed her money, she further claimed that he had been incarcerated in a youth detention centre in the past for theft.

Wonho has been officially removed from the Monsta X website and Starship's official site.

In a recent statement to fans, Wonho wrote that he was "apologetic for causing harm to the members due to the unfortunate issues related to him" and "reached this decision after seeing people having a hard time because of him".

Meanwhile, an online petition on Change.org in support of Monsta X and Wonho's return to the group has gathered more than 450,000 signatures.