Big Bang: K-pop star quits showbiz amid 'sex bribery' claims

Deanna Kelley
March 13, 2019

An immensely famous Korean pop star heralded as the genre's "Great Gatsby" for his lavish lifestyle has announced his retirement from his boy band, Big Bang, after being charged with supplying prostitutes for to VIPs. His retirement comes with immediate effect and Seungri will be leaving the band which has sold over 140 million records since their 2006 debut and are known as the "Kings of K-pop".

Local media reported that Seungri, whose real name is Lee Seung-hyun, was a suspect in an investigation involving prostitutes in the Gangnam area in Seoul. In a statement he apologised to his fans, and promised to "sincerely participate in investigations into all allegations", reported BBC.

Seungri rose to fame as part of Big Bang, one of the most popular K-pop groups yet.

BIGBANG's Seungri has officially been booked and questioned by police on charges of violating South Korea's Acts on Pimping and Prostitution and its Punishments. Representatives of YG Entertainment Inc., which manages Big Bang, weren't immediately available for comment.

There is no suggestion whatsoever that Seungri was involved with the alleged wrongdoing. "As for the ongoing probe, I will take the investigation seriously to clear all the allegations", he said on his Instagram account.

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The rep continued, "Seungri has been having a hard time at how he has been causing harm to the people around him".

"As I've been branded as a "national traitor", I can not stand the fact that I'm harming others for my own sake".

"I give my heartfelt, honest thanks to fans at home and overseas who gave their love for the past 10 years", he continued.

In South Korea they are showbiz royalty - but their popularity has spread across Asia and the rest of the world.

Seungri was due to enrol on 25 March but could ask for a deferment while he addresses the allegations. South Korea's Military Manpower Administration confirmed on Monday that he is still expected to join the army as scheduled.

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