Seungri, whose real name is Lee Seung-hyun, was released from Yeoju Correctional Institution Thursday morning (February 9). The news was confirmed by a Ministry of Justice official consulted by South Korean news outlet JTBC, per a report by Korea JoongAng Daily.
The 32-year-old singer was sentenced to an 18-month jail term in January 2022 after being found guilty of nine separate charges over his involvement in the Burning Sun scandal. The charges against the former idol ranged from misappropriating funds to arranging prostitution for investors.
The Burning Sun nightclub in Seoul was the setting of a 2019 sex and drugs scandal that encompassed allegations of rape and spycam usage. Several of the Korean entertainment industry’s biggest names were connected to the scandal, including Choi Jong-hoon of F.T. Island, singer Jung Joon-young, CNBLUE’s Lee Jong-hyun and ex-Highlight member Yong Jun-hyung.
Seungri was originally given a three-year jail sentence and ordered to pay ₩1.15billion (approximately £750,000) in restitution by a lower court in August 2021. He had denied a majority of the charges during the hearings.
His sentence was eventually halved during the final appeal trial held by The High Military Court of the Ministry Of Defense in Seoul in January 2022, after he reportedly pled guilty to all charges and expressed his formal intention to reflect on his actions and charges. A separate report from Yonhap News Agency at the time added that the upper court had also overturned the court order for Seungri to pay ₩1.15billion in restitution.
The South Korean Supreme Court went on to uphold Seungri’s 18-month jail term on May 2022 after the singer appealed for a lighter sentence. Following this hearing, Instagram removed the former idol’s account from the platform. A report by Korea JoongAng Daily from the time notes that Instagram does not allow convicted sex offenders to have accounts on the platform.
Seungri was an original member of Big Bang, which formed in 2006. He left the band and the entertainment industry in 2019 after the Burning Sun scandal broke.