Seoul, March 12 (IANS) One of South Korea’s most successful boyband stars has announced his retirement from showbiz, a day after he was charged with supplying prostitutes to business investors, BBC reported.
Seungri will be leaving the five-piece group Big Bang, who have sold over 140 million records since their 2006 debut and are known as the “Kings of K-pop”.
The 28-year-old wrote on Instagram: “I have decided to retire because the controversy has become so big.” He has denied procuring prostitutes, the BBC said.
Seungri, whose real name is Lee Seung-hyun, had already cancelled all planned engagements in February and the March shows of his solo tour.
In a statement, he apologised to his fans and promised to “sincerely participate in investigations into all allegations”.
Seungri was questioned by police in February over reports of drug-taking and sexual assault at the Burning Sun club, where he was a public relations director.
Local media reports have linked the singer to “sex bribery” – or providing sex services to potential investors in his company Yuri Holdings, which manages his entertainment and restaurant businesses.
The lobbying is alleged to have happened at nightclubs in Seoul. Prostitution is illegal in South Korea.
It is alleged that Seungri tried to obtain prostitutes for clients through a group chat on a messaging app. Messages have emerged which appear to show him urging a staff member to make the arrangements.
He was also allegedly part of a chat where secretly-filmed sex videos were shared. The hidden camera clips were allegedly taped by another K-pop singer, Jung Joon-young.
Korean broadcaster SBS reports that 10 women were filmed.