Seungri, a member of K-pop boy band Big Bang, has announced that he’s retiring music following charges of supplying prostitutes.
In a post on Instagram the singer announced that he has “decided to retire from the entertainment industry” in order to protect Big Bang and their backers YG Entertainment.
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승리입니다 제가 이시점에서 연예계를 은퇴를하는것이 좋을거같습니다. 사회적 물의를 일으킨 사안이 너무나 커 연예계 은퇴를 결심했습니다 수사중인 사안에 있어서는 성실하게 조사를 받아 쌓인 모든 의혹을 밝히도록 하겠습니다. 지난 한달반동안 국민들로부터 질타받고 미움받고 지금 국내 모든 수사기관들이 저를 조사하고 있는 상황에서 국민역적 으로까지 몰리는 상황인데 저 하나 살자고 주변 모두에게 피해주는일은 도저히 제스스로가 용납이 안됩니다 지난 10여 년간 많은 사랑을 베풀어준 국내외 많은 팬분들께 모든 진심을 다해 감사드리며 와이지와 빅뱅 명예를 위해서라도 저는 여기까지인거같습니다 다시한번 죄송하고 또 죄송합니다 그동안 모든분들께 감사했습니다
According to Variety, the charges could potentially lead to a jail sentence of three years and were brought following a police raid on a Seoul nightclub that the singer controls.
“We booked Seungri and changed his status to that of a suspect in order to issue a search and seizure warrant and clear [him] of the suspicions,” a police spokesman said at a press conference.
The Variety report notes that Seungri has been in Korean headlines throughout 2019 after a video of an assault in his nightclub circulated online. It sparked Seoul police to announce that they would investigate the club over allegations that it was supplying drugs to patrons and women for VIP customers to have sex with.
In February a series of text messages emerged in which Seungri and three other people allegedly discuss supplying prostitutes to potential investors at the club.
Seungri has denied all the allegations and had accused the journalist who published the texts of falsifying evidence. A number of the pop star’s upcoming concerts across Asia have been cancelled.
Korean media has reported that employees at YG Entertainment have been spotted throwing out large quantities of shredded material. The company has denied that it was destroying potential evidence and said that the clear-out was a routine quarterly procedure.
Seungri had been due to begin his term of mandatory service in the South Korean military at the end of March. It’s unclear whether this will be affected by the ongoing legal issues.