One of the biggest scandals that shook the K-pop world involved a member of one of the most famous and influential Korean boy groups, BigBang. The scandal began with a minor scuffle at a club.
Who knew it would take a puny drunk man starting a fight to reveal a whole racket of drugs, prostitution, sex crimes, and more involving some of the biggest Korean celebrities?
It was no longer just a scandal but a national shame. Although it involved a roster of influential names in business, politics, and entertainment, one name stood out the most.
The scandal had become synonymous with the name Lee Seungri. BigBang is probably the first ever K-pop act to spark the Hallyu wave globally. The second-gen group was considered the celebrity of celebrities.
Sold out concerts, TV appearances, fashion, Hollywood connection, BigBang had it all going on for them. The 5-member group dominated music charts and everyone’s hearts for their enigmatic charm and unique music. This group was solely responsible for making YGE one of the Big 3 companies.
BigBang was a cultural reset in Korea, and each member enjoyed a substantial fandom. At the same time, the members pursued their own endeavors, where some released solo albums while others ventured into acting.
The youngest of the group, Lee Seungri, carved his own pursuits. He decided to take the business route and invested in several companies. However, he was really passionate about presenting the people the time of their lives. He threw extravagant parties on his birthday or really on any occasion he liked.
Naturally, he also invested in several nightclubs. Seungri had significant shares in Yuri Holdings, which owned the Burning Sun Club.
According to several reports, Seungri was in charge of promotions and getting foreign involvement in the club. The claims suggest that he refrained from intervening in any operations at the club.
But when the scandal broke out, Seungri was at the forefront of all the media reports, implying that all the criminal activities took place under his management and surveillance. Whether he orchestrated the prostitution ring or was just a scapegoat is still up for debate.
But regardless, this scandal ultimately tarnished his reputation, even if it was just by association with the club. He left the group and enlisted in the military while he was under investigation. He was sentenced to 3 years in prison with a fine of 1.15 billion won (US$990,000) and immediate detention. Seungri was convicted of nine charges, including–
- Prostitution mediation in violation of the Act on the Punishment of Arrangement of Commercial Sex Acts.
- Overseas gambling.
- Procuring prostitution service.
- Violation of the Foreign Exchange Transactions Act.
- Violation of the Food Sanitation Act.
- Violation of the Act on Special Cases Concerning The Punishment, Etc. of Sexual Crimes.
- Violation of an Act on the Aggravated Punishment Etc. of Specific Economic Crimes.
- Mobilizing gangs to threaten people.
But he was released from prison recently and went on a recluse. That was until someone spotted Seungri in a club wearing a white baseball cap. Netizens were irked by his surprise appearance and expressed their disdain that he had no remorse for his crimes.
Is Seungri Still Going to Clubs?
There are no confirmed reports yet, but according to a witness who posted an image on the Korean bulletin board on September 10 with a caption– “Seungri still goes to the club.”
This sparked an online rage among BigBang fans, who blamed Seungri’s involvement in the Burning Sun scandal as a reason for the group’s hiatus.
Most believe Seungri is back to his old ways and has not reflected on his past crimes. While his fans came to his defense, stating that the media slandered his name and he had no part in Burning Sun at all.
What is your verdict on this case? Do you think Seungri was innocent? Or was he actively involved in the Burning Sun scandal?
Let us know in the comments section below.