K-pop has sold its stars as the ultimate squeaky-clean pin-ups, but that is all being blown to pieces as a burgeoning sex scandal rocks the multi-billion dollar industry.
Just in the last several days, singer-songwriter Jung Joon-young, BigBang boy band member Seungri and Yong Jun-hyung from the boy band Highlight have announced their retirements from show business.
Jung, 30, admitted filming himself having sex and sharing the footage without his partners’ consent, while Seungri – real name Lee Seung-hyun – is embroiled in a sex-for-investment criminal investigation.
All three were members of the same chat room where Jung and others shared illicit content according to broadcaster SBS.
Seungri has been booked for procuring prostitutes for VIP customers of his Burning Sun club while Jung allegedly shared sex videos with artists, including Seungri, via a group chat. Ten women were reportedly filmed without their knowledge.
There has been talk that Jung, who secretly filmed a girlfriend a few years ago, had told the police then that he had lost his mobile phone. The case was dropped over lack of evidence.
The fallout from the scandal has also seen the retirement of two other K-pop artists – rock band FT Island‘s Choi Jong-hoon and boyband Highlight‘s Junhyung.
K-pop stars generally cultivate clean-cut images, as they are actively promoted by the South Korean government as a key cultural export.