SEOUL: South Korea's K-pop culture is one of the country's most lucrative soft power exports and has drawn a massive audience of young people internationally, especially in other Asian markets. While the industry mostly projects a wholesome image on stage and screen, a series of scandals, public personal breakdowns and untimely celebrity deaths this year has drawn attention to the darker side of the culture. Choi Jin-ri was better known as her stage name Sulli.
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SEOUL, South Korea — Police on Thursday questioned two K-pop stars over interlocking sex scandals that have fascinated South Korea and prompted both men to announce they are retiring from the entertainment industry. Seungri, a member of the superstar group Big Bang, bowed deeply at a Seoul police station before more than journalists. Police said they are investigating allegations that the year-old attempted to arrange illegal sexual services for his business investors. In South Korea, celebrities involved in scandals often issue public apologies even as they maintain their innocence. Seungri, whose real name is Lee Seung-hyun, has denied the sexual-bribery allegation, but announced his retirement on Monday. Earlier Thursday, fellow K-pop star Jung Joon-young, 29, came to the police station to be questioned about an allegation that he secretly filmed himself having sex with women and then shared the videos with friends in private group chats.
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In , the CEO of Open World Entertainment , Jang Seok Woo , was arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing female trainees and coercing male idols signed to his agency to do so as well. Police interviewed over 20 people they believed to be victims. As the investigation continued, they found evidence that Jang Seok Woo had drugged and raped the trainees since Police also found evidence that the CEO coerced some of the male idols to take part in the abuse.
Elise Hu. The former pop idol was there to undergo police questioning over charges of supplying prostitution services. A total of four Korean entertainers have abruptly retired from the industry this week, in a widening scandal linking the glossy world of K-pop with a series of seedy sex crimes. The biggest players — Seungri, of the influential all-male group Big Bang, and the year-old singer-songwriter Jung Joon-young — have both apologized to the public for their involvement in twin, interlocking cases of exploitation of women. To catch you up: Investigators booked Seungri on Monday on suspicion of supplying prostitutes for businessmen at one of Seoul's upscale night clubs, setting off a media feeding frenzy that ensnared the second star, Jung, and potentially more famous men to come. Seungri is denying charges of brokering prostitution.