Two TV stars suspend all TV program activities due to golf gambling

Park Sae-jin Reporter Posted : 2019-03-18 11:02 Updated : 2019-03-18 11:02
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Cha Tae-hyun (left), Kim Jun-ho (center), and Jung Joon-young (right) [Yonhap Photo]


SEOUL -- Two TV celebrities -- actor Cha Taehyun and comedian Kim Jun-ho -- left all TV programs over allegations that they have gambled while playing golf. The two were the latest victims of a widening police probe into a sex and corruption scandal involving K-pop stars.

Cha and Kim were found to have bet millions of won during their golf match in 2016. The story was revealed when police looked into a smartphone messenger group chat involving Jung Joon-young and other members of "2 Days & 1 Night", South Korea's long-running TV variety show.

Social media chat groups have been scrutinized in a probe into the circulation of sex videos. Jung allegedly filmed women while having sex with them and illegally shared video files with other K-pop stars including Seungri, a disgraced BIGBANG member.

"We did it for fun, but I'm so ashamed to see myself posting it in the messenger group," Cha said in a statement on Sunday. "I believe my actions were intolerable for a public figure who received a lot of love," the 42-year-old actor said, adding he would suspend all his activities.

The statement came a day after a broadcaster reported that Cha shared the pictures of him holding up large bills and told other people that he won the money while playing golf abroad. In his statement, Cha insisted he played golf at home and returned the money.

Kim released a similar statement and apologized. "I bow deeply to apologize for causing disappointment and breaking your hearts," the 43-year-old said, adding he would take responsibility and step off from all TV programs. 2 Days & 1 Night has been suspended and replaced with a temporary program.

 Police did not say how many artists have shared sex video files, but five including Jung and Seungri have been identified, leading to a permanent halt to their entertainment career. Three other artists are Lee Jong-hyun, a CNBLUE member, Yong Jun-Hyung of Highlight and FT ISLAND's Choi Jong-hoon.