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Seungri seeks to postpone enlistment, Jung surrenders ‘golden’ phone

Ock Hyun-ju

The Korea Herald/Asia News Network

 /  Sat, March 16, 2019  /  11:08 am
Seungri seeks to postpone enlistment, Jung surrenders ‘golden’ phone

Seungri (C), a member of the K-pop boy group BIGBANG, speaks to the media as he arrives for questioning over criminal allegations at the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency in Seoul on March 14, 2019. South Korean pop star Seungri on March 11 announced his retirement from show business amid mounting criminal investigations including his alleged involvement in a sex-for-investments scandal. (AFP/Jung Yeon-Je)

K-pop idol star Seungri and singer-songwriter Jung Joon-young returned home Friday after marathon interrogations as criminal suspects in connection with a scandal encompassing illicit sex videos and sex-for-investment dealings.

In his second appearance before police, Seungri, 28, of K-pop boy band Big Bang was questioned for 16 hours over allegations that he brokered escort services for potential investors at the Burning Sun nightclub, where he had been a public relations director. 

Emerging from the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency at around 6:15 a.m., Seungri, whose real name is Lee Seung-hyun, said he would postpone his military service so that he could cooperate with the investigation.

“I sincerely submitted to the investigation,” he told reporters waiting outside the building. 

“If permitted, I will delay the enlistment date and show the public (that I’m willing to) sincerely submit to the investigation until the end.”

Seungri left the police agency without answering questions such as whether he is the real owner of Burning Sun and whether he thinks the KakaoTalk messages were fabricated. 

Seungri is also under investigation in connection with allegations of drug use, sexual assault, tax evasion, and having cozy ties with law enforcement at the Burning Sun club, where he was an executive. 

Jung, 30, was interrogated over allegations that he filmed himself having sex with a number of women and shared the footage without the women’s knowledge or consent in an online group chat that involved about 10 people, including Seungri and FT Island member Choi Jong-hoon. 

Read also: Commentary: Time for K-pop fans to stop idolizing criminals and perverts

“I sincerely and honestly testified during the interrogation. I submitted the phone, known as a ‘golden phone,’ as it is to the police,” Jung told reporters. “I am really sorry for causing a stir.” 

Jung was referring to his second mobile phone, called a “golden phone” and mentioned by rapper Zico during a talk show in 2016. There are suspicions that the phone might be where Jung stored all the videos and that Zico may even have seen them. The rapper has denied this.

When asked to identify the police commissioner mentioned in the group chat room, Jung said he would answer that question as part of the investigation. He did not answer questions about the charges against him or about suspected police misconduct in connection with the case. 

Jung is suspected of having used the chat room to share intimate photos and sex videos involving at least 10 women between 2015 and 2016, according to police.

The police are also looking into suspicions of collusion between the Burning Sun management and at least one high-ranking police official. 

Both Seungri and Jung apologized to the public and promised to cooperate in the police investigation. They retired from the entertainment industry earlier this week. 

This article appeared on The Korea Herald newspaper website, which is a member of Asia News Network and a media partner of The Jakarta Post