Former BIGBANG member Seungri has been swept up in the Burning Sun controversy that erupted late last month, having been accused of violating anti-prostitution laws, amongst other charges.
The 28-year-old announced his departure from the Kpop group BIGBANG, as well as his retirement from showbiz after he was called in for investigations by the police. Various news outlets have also revealed text messages from Seungri, as well as other celebrities like Jung Joonyoung and Choi Jonghoon, in a chat group, where they shared footage of sexual encounters with women.
From the chat logs released, the members could be seen discussing illegally filmed hidden camera footage, tax evasion, illegal gambling, as well as bribing police officers and colluding with them.
Yesterday, Seungri gave an interview to media outlet Sisa Journal, through his lawyer. In the interview, he denied the charges against him, claiming that he was simply joking with his friends in the chat.
“Everything started from the messages sent in the chat group. Just like how we wrote about the ‘police chief’ in our messages, it was merely us friends joking, showing off and exaggerating amongst ourselves. However, it’s now seen as proof that we're tax evaders who colluded with the police,” he said.
“Even the investigators think that the contents of the chat group are true, and can be considered as evidence. Because I’m a celebrity, I fear that I will not be judged fairly, as it’s hard for the public to judge calmly on this matter. Even if I shout, no one will believe me,” he continued.
Seungri then went on to deny the reports that he had participated in illegal gambling, and violated anti-prostitution laws.
Earlier last week, a media outlet had reported that Seungri was suspected of gambling overseas with an associate, reproducing messages said to be sent by the 28-year-old. In the messages, Seungri had sent pictures of a wad of cash, and wrote that he had won it whilst gambling.
“I was only joking when I said that I had won KRW$200 million (approximately S$239,600). Furthermore, the associate (A) didn’t even see me gamble, nor was he with me. The hotel can corroborate my story,” Seungri said, claiming that A had lied.
Photos: PBE Media