Singer Seungri has been charged with illegal distribution of pornography after he admitted to participating in the circulation of hidden camera footage without consent.
On March 28, the Seoul National Police Agency confirmed that the former Big Bang member has been booked for the criminal charges. However, he has reportedly denied filming the footage himself but says he just shared it after receiving it from someone else. The police are currently checking who filmed the footage.
Coined the Great Gatsby of Korea for his taste for the high life, Seungri is also under investigation for prostitution mediation, drugs, tax evasion and police collusion related to the crime-riddled night club Burning Sun, where he was a public relations director, in the posh Gangnam district.
Though he denied the allegations and made a grovelling public apology, Seungri announced his retirement from the entertainment industry to fight the charges and spare his management agency YG Entertainment and group Big Bang from further embarrassment.
As the scandal continues to widen, the label has ended sale of merchandise related to Seungri and major Korean broadcasters stopped their VOD (video on demand) content for both the former Big Bang member and singer Jung Joon-young, who is also in the centre of the scandal.
In related news, Korean news outlet Newsdesk reported that Jung’s controversial group chatrooms, where he distributed secretly filmed sex clips, had 14 members in total with eight reported to be singers. The conversation reportedly included misogynistic messages and conversations discussing blackmailing the women with the footage.
According to the media report, Jung, Seungri, former FT Island member Choi Jong-hoon and former Highlight bandmate Yong Jun-hyung, with a further four unnamed singers were in the chatroom.
Seungri reportedly told the members: “We’re in trouble. Change your phones.”