Former K-pop star Seungri has been indicted on prostitution-related charges in the midst of a sex abuse scandal ensnaring South Korea’s entertainment industry, according to a new report.
Seungri, 29, previously a member of the boy band Big Bang, was indicted without detention for allegedly organizing prostitutes, habitual gambling and illegal foreign currency trade, a spokesperson for the Seoul Central Prosecutors’ Office told CNN Thursday.
His lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNN.
Seungri, whose real name is Lee Seung-hyun, made a dramatic exit from the industry back in March when news of the investigation emerged, according to the report.
“I just cannot bear causing any further damage to people around me, while being hated and criticized by the public and being treated as a nation’s enemy during the investigation,” he posted to Instagram at the time.
The charges against Seungri are part of the burgeoning “Burning Sun” scandal — named after a nightclub in the upscale Gangnam district.
He has been accused of lobbying potential investors by offering them prostitution services at the club.
Seungri was a public relations director at the now-shuttered club, where staffers are alleged to have used hidden cameras to film women and to have used alcohol and drugs to sexually assault them.
A handful of other K-pop stars have also been swept into the scandal — including Jung Joon-young and Choi Jong-hoon, who were convicted of conspiring to have illicit sexual intercourse with someone who is unconscious or unable to resist.
Jung was also found guilty of filming illicit footage of women and sharing it to a group chat.
He was sentenced to six years behind bars, and Choi to five years.
Seungri was also allegedly included in Jung’s group chat discovered by investigators on the Korean messaging app KakaoTalk, according to reports.
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