×

K-Pop Superstar Seung-ri Booked on Sex Charges, Quits Showbiz

Seung-ri, one of the biggest names in the K-pop firmament has been charged with supplying prostitutes. The singer, who denies the charges, on Monday announced that he will immediately retire from showbiz in order to protect his boy band Big Bang and its backer the talent agency YG Entertainment.

“We booked Seung-ri and changed his status to that of a suspect in order to issue a search and seizure warrant and clear [Seung-ri] of the suspicions,” a police spokesman said at a press conference.

The charges, which potentially carry a three-year jail sentence, follow a police raid on Sunday night of a nightclub in Seoul, that Seung-ri controls. YG shares collapsed by some 14% on Monday, tumbling to KRW37,150.

The 28-year-old singer, whose real name is Lee Seung-hyun, and who also uses the stage name V.I. in Japan, has been in the headlines for several weeks.

Following an assault at the club, a video of which circulated online, Seoul police announced in late January that they were investigating goings on at the club. Allegations included the supply of drugs to patrons, and staff supplying drug-addled women for VIP clients to have sex with. Seung-ri denied any knowledge or any role.

But at the end of February a series of text messages, dating back to 2015, emerged. These appeared to show Seung-ri and three other people discussing supplying prostitutes to potential investors at the club and his Yuri Holdings company.

Seung-ri has accused the journalist who published the text messages as fabricating the evidence. But as the controversy escalated, concerts in Osaka, Japan and Jakarta, Indonesia were cancelled.

Korean media has reported that large quantities of shredded material has been thrown out by YG. The company has denied that it was destroying potential evidence and said that the clear-out was a routine quarterly procedure.

In October, it was announced that Seung-ri would be part of the cast of “Future Strategy Office,” a sitcom produced by YG for Netflix. The show’s concept that of an office where YG’s most troublesome clients are transferred. The talent would have to show how they are working to regain their places in the company.

Seung-ri is due in two weeks to take temporary leave from the band and enter Korea’s mandatory military service, though that may now be postponed due to the police investigation. Some Korean media have reported that the singer’s passport has been confiscated by police.

More Music

  • Hugh Jackman 39th Brit Awards, Show,

    Concert Review: Hugh Jackman Sparkles and Shines at the Hollywood Bowl

    Hugh Jackman is out to prove he truly is the greatest showman. On Friday and Saturday night, Jackman’s “The Man. The Music. The Show.” world tour stopped in Los Angeles for a sold-out two nights at the Hollywood Bowl. Ten years ago, Jackman hosted the 2009 Oscars just a few blocks south of the venue at [...]

  • Portrait of author and writer Paul

    Paul Krassner, Satirist, Yippies Co-Founder and Counter-Culture Figure, Dies at 87

    Satirist, publisher, author and American counter-culture figure Paul Krassner died at his home in Desert Hot Springs, California on July 21. He was 87. His daughter Holly Krassner Dawson, confirmed the news to the Associated Press. Born in New York City on April 9, 1932, Krassner eventually moved to Southern California where he lived with [...]

  • Cameron Crowe, David Crosby, A.J. Eaton.

    Cameron Crowe on Why He Loved Leaving David Crosby Doc on a CSNY Question Mark

    David Crosby may or may not have stuck a joint in Cameron Crowe’s mouth the first time he ever met the future filmmaker, when Crosby was peaking with Crosby Stills Nash & Young and his interviewer was a precocious 15-year-old Rolling Stone correspondent. As Crowe said to Jimmy Kimmel the other night, “I remember it [...]

  • Adam Lambert Queen

    Concert Review: Queen and Adam Lambert Capitalize on 'Bohemian Rhapsody'

    About half way through Queen and Adam Lambert’s Saturday night show at the Forum in Inglewood, guitarist Brian May took the stage solo to perform a few numbers. He began by acknowledging that day’s 50th anniversary of the first manned moon landing, as the video screen behind him streamed a real-time replay of the Apollo [...]

  • R Kelly Sexual Assult Accusations Mugshot

    R. Kelly to Face Charges in New York on Aug. 2

    R. Kelly has been ordered brought to New York for his arraignment on racketeering charges that allege he recruited young girls for sexual abuse at concerts across the country, according to the Chicago Tribune. The charges are part of multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against the singer that have been filed this year. Kelly, who [...]

  • Sturgill Simpson Announces New Anime Film,

    Sturgill Simpson Announces an Anime Film — and Album to Go With It — at Comic-Con

    From alt-country hero to anime producer, Grammy winner Sturgill Simpson is broadening his horizons. Appearing on a panel Saturday night at Comic-Con, Simpson announced an animated Netflix film, “Sound & Fury,” that he’s producing and wrote the original story for, to be accompanied by a simultaneously released album this fall he describes as “sleazy, steamy [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content