South Korean pop star Seungri arrived at court Tuesday to await a decision on whether he should be arrested over charges including prostitution in a snowballing sex scandal. The 28-year-old singer from popular boy band BIGBANG and his business partner are accused of arranging sex services for potential investors and rich clients at a nightclub owned by the pair.
Dressed in a sharp black suit, Seungri – real name Lee Seung Hyun – quickly walked past a mob of reporters at the Seoul Central District Court, tight-lipped as he brushed off questions. Police investigations have shown that Seungri and his partner procured a dozen prostitutes for a group of Japanese investors in 2015 at their upmarket Burning Sun nightclub, according to Yonhap news agency.
The pair also allegedly embezzled around KRW530 million (US$450,000) from the business and face charges of violating sanitary codes at Burning Sun, where drug peddling was allegedly commonplace and women are said to have been regularly raped. Seungri – who announced his retirement from showbusiness in March as the scandal ballooned – has denied the charges.
Other stars have been embroiled in the allegations, which have cast a shadow over the K-Pop industry after investigations into Seungri revealed an online chatroom where a handful of male celebrities shared illegally filmed sex videos. Singer-songwriter Jung Joon Young, who ran the chatroom, was arrested in March after admitting to filming himself having sex and sharing the footage without his partners’ consent. Two other figures have announced their retirements from the entertainment industry amid an ongoing probe.