CNBLUE’s Lee Jong Hyun leaves the band amid controversy

The K-pop idol was also involved in March’s Burning Sun scandal

South Korean singer Lee Jong Hyun has announced that he is leaving the K-pop band CNBLUE.

Lee’s departure follows controversy surrounding inappropriate private messages he sent popular South Korean YouTuber Park Min Jung. The singer had messaged Park on Instagram, complimenting her physical appearance and admitting that he enjoys watching her videos.

Park made Lee’s messages public by posting screengrabs on her Instagram stories on Wednesday (August 28), Soompi reported. She asked, “Huh? Is this really CNBLUE?” Lee has since deleted his Instagram account.

The news of Lee’s withdrawal from the group came via a statement issued by Lee’s label FNC Entertainment and translated by Soompi. The singer apologised to those he has hurt and disappointed though his “inappropriate words and actions”.

“I am informing you that I’m withdrawing from CNBLUE. I feel sorry that I have caused harm for the members, and I have told the members as well that I am withdrawing. I am ashamed to have disappointed the fans who believed in me,” the statement reads. “I feel great regret over my wrongdoing and I am willing to accept criticism from many people. I’m sorry for evoking criticism over a shameful matter.”

This is not the first time Lee has been the subject of controversy for inappropriate behaviour towards women. Back in March, the singer was revealed to have been part of the Burning Sun scandal involving K-pop idols such as Big Bang’s Seungri and Highlight’s Yong Jun-hyung.

Lee had admitted to being included in chat groups created by singer Jung Joon-young in which clandestinely shot, sexually explicit videos, known as molka in South Korea, were distributed. After the news broke, his label had claimed that the singer would be taking time off to “reflect” upon his actions.