A sex scandal has been growing in K-pop, starting with former BIGBANG member Seungri, and growing to reveal a secret chat room where major performers shared illegal hidden camera footage.
The scandal began in late February with a video of security assaulting a patron at Burning Sun, a night club Seungri was involved in running. The man claimed he was assaulted by security after trying to protect a woman who was being groped by a club VIP, and video shows him being brutally beaten by multiple employees.
Less than a month later, messages exchanged over the instant messenger KakaoTalk were leaked to the press, revealing messages that appeared to show Seungri working with a Burning Sun employee, F.T. Island member Choi Jong-hoon (who was initially not identified), and the CEO of Yuri Holdings on procuring prostitutes for investors.
The police investigation into the messages’ validity was quickly in motion. After he was interviewed by the police, YG Entertainment canceled all upcoming events for Seungri and announced that he would be enlisting in active duty on March 25. Two days later, Seungri was booked for prostitution mediation and other related charges.
Seungri is only the tip of the iceberg, however. On March 11, it was revealed that he was in a chatroom with other K-pop celebrities where they shared illegal hidden camera videos with each other. In the 10 days since then, there has been a flurry of investigations, rumors, contract eliminations, and charges filed.
Singer Jung Joon-young was among those implicated, and two days later, he admitted to recording and sharing sex tapes without women’s knowledge in an apology letter. After accusations that people in the chatroom used connections with the police, it was reported that Choi had attempted to bribe a police officer to cover up drunk driving, and his agency announced his retirement. Yong Jun-hyung announced his departure from his group Highlight on Instagram, admitting to receiving and watching hidden camera sex videos from Jung. Two cast members of the reality show 2 Days & 1 Night also stepped down after evidence of illegal gambling was discovered in a chatroom Jung was also a part of.
As the scandals continued to spread, South Korean President Moon Jae-in demanded a thorough and transparent investigation, acknowledging the rumors that police had worked with the suspects. “If we fail to clarify the truth behind the cases that occurred within the privileged class, we will not be able to talk of a righteous society,” Moon said. “The key point is to discover the tangible truth behind the cases and the suspicions of special treatment given by investigative organizations such as the prosecution, the police, and the National Tax Service.”
As of today, Jung stood before the press before his court hearing and admitted to his crimes, and was arrested after his hearing. Seungri’s lawyers continue to deny the allegations against him, saying the claims come from “malicious informants.”
"I have committed an unforgivable crime."
K-pop singer Jung Joon-young apologizes for sending a spy-cam video showing him having sex with women #정준영
— QuickTake by Bloomberg (@QuickTake) March 21, 2019
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