By Kang Seung-woo
A brawl at a nightclub affiliated with Seungri of boy band Big Bang is rapidly expanding into a scandal that is rocking the entertainment industry, with fellow K-pop star Jung Joon-young being booked for illicitly recording and sharing sex videos.
|Jung Joon-young, right, arrives at Incheon International Airport, Tuesday, amid allegations that he secretly filmed women he was having sex with and shared the videos with acquaintances. / Korea Times photo by Hong In-ki|
The police plan to question Jung as soon as possible, following his return to Korea late Tuesday after he canceled participation in the shooting of a reality TV show in the United States. When he arrived at Incheon International Airport, Jung just said he was sorry without elaborating.
The allegations came to light as part of a police investigation into Seungri, who has been charged with allegedly providing prostitutes or female customers who had been drugged to foreign investors in his new business for sex. Seungri was banned from leaving the country, Sunday.
Jung, 30, a singer and TV celebrity who rose to fame following a runner-up finish in a talent show in 2012, is suspected of having recorded the videos without the consent of the women. There are at least 10 women who were filmed over a period of 10 months since the end of 2015, police said.
According to the law on sexual violence, those who film a person's body without consent can face a prison term of up to five years or a fine of 30 million won ($26,500). Separately, those who distribute such photos or videos without consent ― even though the partner agreed to the filming of it ― are subject to five years in prison or a 30 million won fine.
Jung's alleged wrongdoings are drawing extra attention as he was accused by an ex-girlfriend in 2016 of filming them having sex, without her consent ― although he was acquitted after she dropped the charge.
In the wake of the alleged wrongdoings surrounding Jung, his management agency announced that he would "fully cooperate with the investigation." In addition, Jung will be fired from scheduled TV appearances.
Following this latest incident, there is growing speculation that more celebrities may have made illegal videos using hidden cameras and will face investigation.
Police have found other celebrities who participated in an eight-member chat room that included Seungri, Jung and some people close to him, leading to repeated denials from those allegedly involved.
K-pop group Highlight's Yong Jun-hyung said on his social media account that news reports showing a screen capture of a chat room featuring someone surnamed "Yong" was fabricated, claiming he was not one of the eight people.
FT Island's Lee Hong-ki, who is also close to Jung, flatly stated he was not involved, telling his fans not to worry.