The Seungri and Jung Joon Young’s cases have sent shock waves across the industry, especially given the seriousness of the allegations (or crime, in Jung Joon Young’s case). The Korean entertainment may be known for their cookie-cutter idols and celebrities who are extremely mindful about what they say during interviews and on social media, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been embroiled in controversies. Here are some of the biggest controversies and scandals that have rocked the Korean entertainment circuit.
Big Bang’s Seungri
Seungri recently got entangled in a series of drug, assault, sexual violence and prostitution scandal after an employee of a club that he’s affiliated with was accused of assault. Chat room messages suggest that he was providing prostitution services to his VIP clients. He is now under investigation. Two days ago, he announced his withdrawal from Big Bang and YG Entertainment via Instagram.
Jung Joon Young
The singer recently admitted to illegally recording videos of women during sexual acts without their consent and sharing them with his friends via a chat group. He announced that he would be quitting showbiz and will assist in ongoing investigations.
Sechs Kies’ Kang Sung Hoon
Last year, the Sechs Kies member was embroiled in an embezzlement scandal when it was alleged that he and the head of his fan club had been swindling money—and that they’re both in a relationship. It all started after he cancelled a fan meeting in Taiwan organised by his fan club and refunds were not done properly. The head of the fan club’s brother then came forward to claim that his sister is in a relationship with Sung Hoon and they had been colluding to embezzle club funds. The fan club members have sued the couple and investigations are ongoing. He has since left Sechs Kies and YG Entertainment.
Image: Kang Sung Hoon’s Instagram
Ju Ji Hoon
If you recalled Ju Ji Hoon’s drug case, you’ve probably been in K-showbiz for a long time. In 2009, he was charged with—and admitted guilty—to using ecstasy and ketamine. He was sentenced to six months jail, suspended for a year, 120 hours of community service and had to pay a fine of 360,000 won ($431.80).
Most people would live by the mantra once bitten, twice shy, but it seems scandals don’t seem to escape Super Junior’s Kangin. In 2009, he was arrested for his involvement in an assault that happened at a bar, but it was found that he only acted in self-defense. A month later, he drove under the influence of alcohol, met with an accident, but only turned himself in five hours later. In 2016, he was involved in yet another DUI and was fined 7 million won ($8.39 million).
Open World Entertainment
In one of the biggest shockers of the industry to date, the CEO of Open World Entertainment was found guilty of sexual abuse in 2012. He had sexually abused the female trainees, and would take them out for drinks and drug them. When they were unconscious, he would sexually abuse them and force male idols to participate in the assault. Two of the female victims were underaged.
Lee Byung Hun
The top actor took a girl group member and her friend to court after an extortion attempt on their part. They had blackmailed him, claiming to have a video of him making lewd remarks to them while they were drinking. He received backlash for meeting the girls privately and making sexual remarks although he was already married to actress Lee Min Jung. The girls received suspended sentences for blackmailing the actor.
Kim Hyun Joong
The SS501 singer was accused of assault by his girlfriend in 2014. The woman also claimed that Hyun Joong had kicked her in the stomach, causing her to have a miscarriage. She submitted documents and medical records of her injuries. She later dropped some of the charges, but he was fined for injuring her. In 2016, it was found that the medical records she submitted were of injuries she had sustained while working out at the gym. The court cleared his name.
The East Light
Late last year, two siblings of Korean group The East Light held a press conference, claiming that they had been assaulted by their manager on numerous occasions. The case drew attention not only because of human rights violation, but also child abuse. Two other members from the group, Jung Sa Kang and Lee Eun Sung, defended the company and said the siblings’ claims were exaggerated. The group’s producer was jailed ahead of the trial.
Who would be able to forget the drug scandal involving T.O.P? Last year, the Big Bang member was charged with illegal drug use and was removed from his role at the police station where he was fulfilling his national service duties. He received a 10-month suspended jail sentence.
Cha Ju Hyuk
He first debuted under the name Kangho in an idol group, but left the group, changed his name and debuted as an actor after he was accused of rape. In 2016, he was caught trying to smuggle ketamine into Canada. Tests revealed that he had been taking drugs.
Park Yoo Chun
Another messy case, JYJ member Park Yoo Chun was accused of sexual assault by a few women. He was found innocent and he later counter-sued one of the women and her two accomplices for defamation and blackmail. After he was cleared of charges, he revealed his plan to marry his non-celebrity girlfriend, but they later broke up.
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