Police question Seungri in criminal probe into sex-for-favor scandal

Park Sae-jin Reporter Posted : 2019-03-14 17:51 Updated : 2019-03-14 17:51
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[Yonhap Photo]


SEOUL -- Seungri, a disgraced BIGBANG member who is accused of arranging sex services for investors at music and dance clubs, bowed his head and apologized as he showed up for a police investigation into a sex scandal that has rocked South Korea's K-pop community.

For weeks, Seungri, who has been known as one of South Korea's most successful singer-turned-businessmen, has become the target of public criticism and rampant rumors, prompting top entertainment agencies to issue denials and warnings. Even his agency, YG Entertainment, has distanced itself from the scandal.

"I would like to bow my head and apologize once again to the people and close friends who were hurt and received damage because of me," Seungri said on Thursday, lowering his head near a photo line drawn in the courtyard of a police building in Seoul.

It was his second appearance for questioning since the scandal erupted in January when a man claimed to have been brutally beaten by the employees of Burning Sun, a music and dance club associated with Seungri.

Seungri resigned from management of the club and vowed to end his career as an artist, but he was mired in fresh revelations over illegally filmed sex video files that have been shared by his colleague artists through social media chat rooms.

Those being quizzed by police on Thursday included Jung Joon-young and Seungri's business partner, Yoo In-seok. Jung was accused of sharing and distributing sex file video files. Illegal distribution and filming of unauthorized sex videos provide for a maximum jail term of five years or a fine of 30 million won ($26,525).

Yoo and Seungri founded Yuri Holdings for investment in restaurant and entertainment businesses. They are suspected of using music and dance clubs to arrange sex services for business favors. If convicted, they could receive a jail term of up to three years or a fine of up to 30 million won.

South Korean police chief Min Gap-ryong has called for a special internal inspection to see if there were collusive ties between Seungri and high-ranking police officers.

The scandal has rocked South Korea's music industry. Yong Jun-hyung, a member of K-pop boy band Highlight formerly known as BEAST, quit his group Thursday, apologizing for sharing a sex video file and exchanging "inappropriate conversations." "I am well aware that this is an unforgivable thing," he said in a statement.