Police probe K-Pop stars over sex scandal in South Korea
South Korean superstar Seungri (R) who is a member of group Big Bang, arrives at the Seoul Police Department in Seoul, South Korea, Mar. 14, 2019. EPA-EFE/JEON HEON-KYUN
Seungri (C), a member of K-pop boy band BIGBANG, is surrounded by reporters as he enters the Metropolitan Police Agency in Seoul, South Korea, Mar. 14, 2019, for questioning on suspicions that he solicited sexual favors for his business partners. EPA-EFE/YONHAP SOUTH KOREA OUT
South Korean Singer Jung Joon-young (C) talks to reporters after arriving at the Metropolitan Police Agency in Seoul, South Korea, Mar. 14, 2019, to be questioned over allegations that he secretly filmed himself engaging in sexual activities with women and shared the footage with fellow entertainers in a mobile chat room. EPA-EFE/YONHAP SOUTH KOREA OUT
Seoul, Mar 14 (efe-epa).- Two singers involved in one of the biggest scandals in the K-Pop industry in recent times were interrogated Thursday by the police for allegedly facilitating prostitution and distributing sexually explicit videos of people without their consent.
The two singers were Seungri, one of the original members of the Bigbang - among the most successful K-Pop bands in history - and Jung Joon-young, a television personality.
Jung, 30, was the first to make an appearance at the headquarters of the National Police Agency (NPA) in Seoul.
He admitted to having secretly filmed his sexual acts with different women and sharing them on an instant messaging platform where several celebrities of the music industry - among them Seungri - were also present.
Seungri, 29, whose real name is Lee Seung-hyun, was the second one to appear Thursday at the NPA headquarters, and where he was grilled over charges of facilitating prostitution services - banned in South Korea - to potential business investors at a nightclub in Seoul in 2015.
He had earlier been interrogated on Feb. 27, when news had first broken out about his alleged crime as part of another investigation into a different nightclub in Seoul where Lee looked after public relations.
Seungri has not admitted to the charges, but like Jung has announced his retirement from the world of entertainment, which comes after their representative agencies reported Wednesday that they had terminated their contracts.
Jung is likely to face prosecution for crimes related to privacy, as well as for distribution of pornography, which is also banned in South Korea.
The scandal, which led to wide outrage among the South Korean people, once again brought to the fore the darker side of the entertainment industry in South Korea.
It has also especially angered South Korean women, who since last year have declared a war on so called "molka," or intimate or sexual videos that are distributed - and often recorded - without consent and are widely consumed online in the Asian country.
K-pop, short for Korean pop, is a genre of popular music that originated in South Korea in the early 90s, but became popular in the 2000s.
The term is often used to describe upbeat, teen music by boyish stars, influenced by the pop styles and genres from around the world.
K-Pop has helped carry South Korean pop culture to the world stage but the industry has been riddled with scandals for long.