One of the biggest K-pop boy bands, Big Bang, is in a pickle after one of its members was claimed to be associated with a high-class prostitution ring.
Big Bang’s member Seungri, who is dubbed as the Korean ‘Great Gatsby’ for his lavish lifestyle, took to Instagram yesterday (Mar 11) to announced that he would be retiring as he would not want to stain the name of his record company and bandmates. Here is the message as translated by Koreaboo:
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승리입니다 제가 이시점에서 연예계를 은퇴를하는것이 좋을거같습니다. 사회적 물의를 일으킨 사안이 너무나 커 연예계 은퇴를 결심했습니다 수사중인 사안에 있어서는 성실하게 조사를 받아 쌓인 모든 의혹을 밝히도록 하겠습니다. 지난 한달반동안 국민들로부터 질타받고 미움받고 지금 국내 모든 수사기관들이 저를 조사하고 있는 상황에서 국민역적 으로까지 몰리는 상황인데 저 하나 살자고 주변 모두에게 피해주는일은 도저히 제스스로가 용납이 안됩니다 지난 10여 년간 많은 사랑을 베풀어준 국내외 많은 팬분들께 모든 진심을 다해 감사드리며 와이지와 빅뱅 명예를 위해서라도 저는 여기까지인거같습니다 다시한번 죄송하고 또 죄송합니다 그동안 모든분들께 감사했습니다
“This is Seungri.
At this point, I think it would be for the best if I retire from the entertainment industry. I decided on retiring from the entertainment industry due to the issues that I caused. The disturbance and issues in society are too big. Regarding the issues that are being investigated, I will accept all investigations and reveal all the suspicions.
While getting criticism and hate from the public for the past month and a half, and with all the agencies in the country currently investigating me, I am even being considered a traitor of Korea. Personally, I can’t tolerate harming everyone around me to save myself.
I would like to sincerely thank all the fans in Korea and around the world who have given me lots of love for the past 10 years. I think this is where my end [as a celebrity] will be, even if it’s [to protect] the honor of YG Entertainment and BIGBANG.
Again, I am sorry and would like to apologize once again.
I am so thankful to everyone up until now.”
According to The Guardian, the police have booked the 28-year-old star for acting as an agent for prostitution in Burning Sun nightclub. Seungri is the public relations director of the club and the place was found to be involved in illegal drug use, sexual assaults and police corruption.
Seungri, or his real name Lee Seung-hyun, is suspected of supplying prostitutes to foreign investors at several nightclubs in Seoul’s upmarket Gangnam district. In another report by Koreaboo, it is said that Seungri was told to “do well” when a group of foreign soccer investors visited Korea in 2015.
Seungri was slated to be enlisted into the Korean mandatory military training this March 25 but his alleged crimes would likely put that off for awhile.
Strait Times reported that the allegation was blown out of proportion after a whistleblower from a South Korean cable channel revealed that he had Kakaotalk messages that purportedly prove illicit activities in the club, including procurement of hookers for VIP customers.
Koreaboo covered the issue at length and stated that Seungri and other male celebrities have group chats where they hide no secret from each other, which includes rating other female celebrities on their sex. It is reported that Seungri had used the platform to discuss soliciting prostitution.
Another celebrity Jung Joon Young was also exposed to be one of the members in the group. In fact, these suspects have many group chats where each will use for different purposes, such as sharing hidden camera videos. A chatroom called “Seungri-Fam” was for Seungri to talk about plans related to the business.
Some chatrooms only had two members and in one of them, Jung Joon Young and a person only known as Mr Kim was found to have filmed a total of 10 women with hidden cameras (videos and pictures). The illicit content was said to have dated as recent as 10 months ago and it acted only as a proof for them to tell each other that they had a one-night stand with that person filmed.
Seungri was also alleged for receiving the videos where they showed the women were secretly filmed during sex, SBS reported.
In 2016, Zico revealed in reality TV show Radio Star that Jung Joon Young had a separate “golden phone” which the latter only used for KakaoTalk. Jung Joon Young’s past controversy also includes filming his then-girlfriend illegally. The two settled the matter outside of court, no charges were pressed.
As of March 9, over 20 police and digital forensics agents searched and seized the club ARENA in an attempt to look for evidence related to the case. The leaked KakaoTalk messages pointed to ARENA club as the place where rich investors, both Korean and foreign, to meet the potential girls, Allkpop reported. Seungri was said to have arranged the investors to meet there.
As K-pop fans, it surely has come as a shocker especially past controversies surrounding Big Bang’s members have never come to such a scale. Maybe Daesung’s 2011 car accident which cost a life did, but Seungri’s latest allegation was a deliberate crime.
What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments.