Once dubbed the Kings of K-Pop before going on hiatus, Big Bang are back in the spotlight this week — though not for good reasons. The influential band’s singer, Seungri, has been charged with supplying prostitutes and now faces a potential three-year jail sentence, as Variety reports.
The scandal is tied to a Seoul nightclub, Burning Sun, once co-owned by Seungri. After a video showing an assault at the club made its rounds online a few months ago, police took a closer look into the business. Investigating officials have since accused the club’s staff, including Seungri, of supplying drugs and providing sex workers to foreign investors and other clientele.
The 28-year-old Seungri, whose real name is Lee Seung-hyun, has denied the allegations, but police claim to be in possession of text messages that prove the Big Bang singer’s involvement.
Since being charged, Seungri has announced his retirement from the entertainment business, in hopes of preserving the reputation of Big Bang and its supporting talent agency YG Entertainment. “I think it would be good for me to retire from the entertainment industry at this point,” Seungri wrote on Instagram Monday morning (translation provided by Google). He continued,
“I have decided to retire from the entertainment industry because the issues that caused social controversy are so great. I will reveal all suspicions that have been sincerely investigated in the matter under investigation.”
After enjoying over a decade’s worth of popularity and earning multiple awards and accolades, Big Bang have been relatively inactive the last few years, due to its members having to fulfill their compulsory South Korean military service. Seungri is scheduled to enter the service later this month, but his appointment may be postponed because of the ongoing investigation.