K-pop star Seungri retires amid sex-for-investment allegations

Sergio Cunningham
March 13, 2019

The 28-year-old K-pop singer, who is the youngest member of South Korean boyband BigBang, has been beset by one scandal after another, leading to an announcement on Monday (March 11) that he has chose to quit show business altogether.

The singer, born Lee Seung-hyun, is suspected of using several nightclubs around the city's luxurious Gangnam district for escorting, the agency reported.

On Sunday, South Korean police raided a club associated with the singer to gather evidence and arrested Seungri.

The search stems from leaked Kakaotalk messages from 2015 that are alleged to be between Seungri, CEO Yoo of Yuri Holdings, and a club employee.

Seungri, who was once described as "the Great Gatsby of Korea" for his lavish lifestyle, has a huge fanbase - but some had called for him to leave Big Bang as the scandal swept the country. If convicted, he could be imprisoned for three years.

As the allegations grew, Seungri suspended his entertainment career in late February and canceled concerts originally set for mid-March.

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The scandal earned him the nickname "Gandollar" but is not seen as affecting his chances unduly, given a fractured opposition. Control of the commercial capital is a key prize given its sheer size and role as the main driver of the country's economy.

Prostitution is illegal in South Korea. As for the ongoing investigation, I will take it seriously to clear myself of all the allegations. "I just can not accept causing pain to those around me just for my sake".

A petition surfaced last week calling for him to step aside after causing "unrecoverable damage to the group's reputation".

"I would like to sincerely thank all of the fans both in and out of Korea who have shown me love for the past ten years".

Big Bang's Seungri announces he's leaving the Kpop industry after 10 years. When it began, he got such a deluge of supportive letters that his army base ran out of paper to print them on, and fans had to be urged to show restraint.

In the meantime, the military has said that Seungri's enlistment will not be postponed and he can continue to cooperate with the investigation during his service.

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