A former K-pop idol has been indicted on charges of organising prostitution, habitual gambling and financial crimes, a year after a string of women alleged they were drugged and served to men at clubs in South Korea.
The 29-year-old, whose real name is Lee Seung-hyun, quit the group Big Bang after the allegations emerged in 2019. In a statement at the time he said: “It would be better for me to retire from the entertainment business at this point.”
“As for the ongoing probe, I will take the investigation to clear all allegations.”
The indictment against Seungri is the latest event to emerge from the Burning Sun scandal, where a number of women came forward to allege they were drugged at nightclubs and offered to wealthy businessmen to rape.
More than 350 people were arrested in the operation – including Seungri, who held a position as part-owner and public relationships liaison of a club in Gangnam.
During the course of the investigation, police discovered an online chat group that was used to share sexually explicit videos of women without their consent or knowledge. Several high-profile K-Pop stars were named by officials as members of the group.
The star and several other high-profile musicians denied any wrongdoing at the time.
The singer, who also owns a global franchise restaurant business, suspended his entertainment career in February of 2019 and canceled concerts.
Several other K-Pop celebrities were caught sharing sex videos and bragging in a chat room about raping women. They also face accusations of using illegal drugs like methamphetamine.
Among them is singer-songwriter Jung Joon-young, who admitted filming himself having sex and sharing the footage without his partners’ consent.
Patrons and clubs in the district also face accusations of allowing underage women being exploited.
A BBC investigation heard that victims were drugged with the substance GHB before being taken into alleyways, club back rooms or even hotels and raped by one or more men.
According to doctors, GHB disappears from a person’s system after a few hours, making it difficult for women to prove they had been raped.
The same investigation found that VIP guest worked with nightclub reps to drug and then abuse their victims.
Even more shockingly, extremely wealthy or important guests, known as VVIPs, paid thousands for random women enjoying a night out to be drugged and brought to them, according to the allegations.