Yong Jun-hyung admitted claims about Jung Joon-young’s sex videos.
On March 14, Yong Jun-hyung wrote to Instagram to admit the claims about his involvement in the problematic group chat room.
“When I received the call about this from my agency, which was on March 11 right after the news report, I did not understand the point and told that I was not in the group chat,” he wrote. “When I said it was 2016 when I was talking to the agency to publish an official statement, I couldn’t check the exact date because the conversation with Jung Joon-young has been deleted. I understand that this caused confusions to many and I apologize.”
He went on to confess that he has received another video from Jung Joon-young in 2015. “I didn’t receive the video in 2016, but I’ve received another video. In addition, I shared an inappropriate conversation about it. Everything was very immoral and I was foolish. I did not realize that these were illegal and I thought about it too lightly. It’s also my fault not stopping him strictly.”
He had a police interview and expressed his will to admit his fault. He said, “Yesterday, I went to have a witness interview regarding the incident. I told everything as far as I know and cooperated with the investigation. Throughout the interview, I could clearly read what kind of things I said and I couldn’t help feeling shameful and miserable about it.”
Lastly, Yong Jun-hyung added that he is leaving HIGHLIGHT.
“I realized the weight of the incident. I don’t want to cause further harm to the members and those who must have been disappointed in me. So I will resign from the group on March 14, 2019. I will continue to reflect on what I’ve done over and over again. I once again apologize.”
Previously on March 11, Yong Jun-hyung promptly denied the suspicions regarding his involvement in the chat room.
Who exactly is Seungri, the hallyu star currently surrounded by various controversies in Korea?
Right now, whenever a Korean individual or Kpop fan hears or reads the 2 syllables Seungri, the first thing that comes to mind would be that celebrity who is in the news for various scandals. Keywords are likely to be Burning Sun assault, offering women to investors, illegal filming of sexual content, retirement, nation’s traitor etc. But just prior to a few months ago, Seungri was not a hated individual but a world star who’s influence was especially prominent in Asia.
Who is Seungri?
Seungri also known as Lee Seung Hyun was the maknae of Kpop’s global idol group, Big Bang. The 29 year old idol made his debut under YG Entertainment in 2006 with Big Bang to later become one of the most popular boy groups in the world. Seungri was one of the youngest singers during that time, merely 16 years old, when he stepped into the entertainment industry. Over the years, Seungri experienced various roles in the entertainment industry as singer, songwriter, actor, producer and entrepreneur.
Prior to controversy
Big Bang had their first break through in 2007 with the release of their first extended play ‘Always’, Big Bang took their place as one of the most influential artists as they focused on producing and creating their own songs. During this time, leader and producer G-Dragon was gaining more attention as fans from the group as his songs became hits setting records for continuously topping charts and sales. Some of G-Dragon’s earliest hits were ‘Lies’ (2007), ‘Last Farewell’ (2007), ‘But I Love U’ (2007).
With Big Bang’s continuously growing popularity, the group was having concerts within 7 months of debuting. As they continued to rise in popularity in Korea, they set their sights for Japan just one year after debut. During that year, the members had hectic schedules letting exhaustion pile up to the point G-Dragon, T.O.P and Seungri became hospitalized halting activities. Seungri already had an ankle injury when it was reported he later lost consciousness towards the end of a show on December 29, 2007. Later it was reported Big Bang had earned over $11.5 Million USD just in 2007. Considering inflation in 2019, 11.5 Million dollars was worth a lot more 12 years ago.
The following year in 2008, Big Bang was very successful in Japan becoming one of the groups to solidify the hallyu wave. By 2009, the group was pursuing solo activities during which each member focused on nurturing their individual talents. Seungri was well known for wanting to “shed” his maknae image at this time for a more mature look. He won his first award with his solo ‘Strong Baby’ tasting his individual success at the age of 19.
In the following years, Seungri continued his solo activities while also promoting as a member of Big Bang. He took on various acting roles, released more solo music, developed his DJ skills etc. Seungri was in some ways overshadowed by other Big Bang members in the entertainment industry. Once his hyungs went on hiatus for military service, Seungri’s popularity and activities undeniably surged.
Just a year ago, Seungri was the only Big Bang member who was not serving mandatory military service yet. As a result, his popularity was growing not only in South Korea but also abroad as the only Big Bang member ‘to hold the fort’ before he went on hiatus for his own mandatory military service in Spring 2019. He made several guest appearances on MBC’s ‘I Live Alone’ increasing his popularity as viewers learned he was a considerate, detail oriented person in addition to being a successful businessman.
After his segment in ‘I Live Alone’ was aired, Seungri was widely complimented for his successful ramen franchise company that has over 45 locations all over the world claiming annual earnings of approximately $96 Million USD. From then on, other successful businesses of the idol/entrepreneur was in the headlines like dance academy, clubs, DJ label etc.. Public perspective of Big Bang Seungri was shifting from an immature playboy often in the headlines because of scandals, clubbing and such to a mature and charismatic man. He went on to explain his tendency to pursue all forms of entertainment led him his success today as an entrepreneur in the show.
Seungri further explained on ‘I Live Alone’ that while his current businesses may seem successful he has experienced failure in previous business ventures. He stated he lost many things but learned from those incidents leading to his current identity (in 2018).
Shortly after Seungri’s image as a successful businessman continued to garner positive reception, he was reported to be the new CEO of YGX in June 2018. YGX is a subsidiary of YG Entertainment that merged with Seungri’s DJ label NHR.
This momentum unfortunately did not last as news about his club, Burning Sun’s alleged assault broke the headlines in January 2019. Kim posted online he was assaulted by security and police when he tried to help a female at the club. This case is currently under investigation and with so many articles with various information, the exact details has become unclear.
Soon after, news about Seungri lobbying to investors with prostitutes joined the headlines. It led to chaos in the entertainment industry as various prominent figures were identified during the investigation.
Park Han Byul’s husband was identified to be involved in this case affecting the actress’s long awaited return to the small screen in MBC’s ‘Love in Sadness’.
Shortly after, various celebrities including idols were implicated as many forms of “evidence” circulated on the Internet. Hours later, Seungri declared he would retire on his Instagram which was met with derision.
There are various rumors and speculations about the controversies surrounding Seungri, but this article will not be delving in that direction. Instead, the focus will be what may have led to such controversies in the first place. What makes this such a big deal would be because it forced a lot of the “dirty laundry” in the entertainment industry to become public. It’s not a simple matter of someone caught breaking the law. But of a world star as the cause of the controversies that led to implicating other influential people.
In Korea, there are many situations where superficially everyone verbally supports gender equality and put their faith in the LAW. However, behind closed quarters there’s corruption, bribery and connections that can solve many things. A common plot seen in Korean drama where a chaebol uses their power, money and influence to be above the law is not completely without a grain of truth. In reality, it isn’t just chaebols but also influential figures in all parts of society, not only in South Korea but in every other country of the world. Just a couple years ago, Korea was in complete chaos as a nation because of abused power. If you’re unaware, the previous Korean president was impeached in 2016.
Many foreigners are unaware of Korean culture that takes hierarchy, social connections, “specs” (Korean term for social economic status) etc. very seriously. For a general idea, I would personally recommend watching Misaeng (2014) starring Im Si Wan, Lee Sung Min and Kang Sora.
In Korea, there are still many people who work overtime without being able to request for overtime pay, sick leave and vacations. This is something I myself have experienced when I interned in Korea just a few years ago. Additionally, female employees are still pressured to pour alcohol for male colleagues. An example would be a scene in the beginning of episode 2 in JTBC’s ‘Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food’ (2018). Furthermore, prostitution is illegal but ‘red light districts’ do exist.
This isn’t the first time YG’s celebrities have caused waves in the industry because of scandals. There have been previous scandals in the entertainment industry because of sexual and physical assault, harassment, prostitution, illegal drugs, drunk driving, tax evasion, sponsorship, adultery, underage drinking etc. in all areas of the entertainment world.
Many of the celebrities who were implicated in various scandals mentioned above were able to return to the entertainment industry after a few years. This itself shows society may easily forget and forgive while failing to fix the actual problem resulting in lofty disdain for indiscretions and breaking the law.
The controversies surrounding Seungri aren’t exactly new in Korean society. Seungri’s status whether guilty or innocent doesn’t matter as much as the fact that he isn’t the first nor the last person who will be accused, indicted, investigated etc. There are others who have probably done the same things mentioned in the controversies and there may be more in the future regardless of whether indicted or not. Aside from investigating to find out the truth, I think it is important to consider what this means for Korean society and what can be done to prevent it from reoccurring in the future.
There are a lot of things I could say about Seungri’s controversies that many may agree or disagree. No doubt I would be using lots of colorful vocabulary if I was to write about it. But taking a step back to see how someone who debuted at the young age of 16 ended up becoming called out as the “nation’s traitor” 14 years later, there’s probably various factorsin the entertainment industryand society that played a significant role in Seungri’s current situation.
Could it be Seungri’s controversies are being used to cover something even bigger? Just a passing thought seeing all the attention focused on entertainment these days instead of fine dust levels from China, N.Korea, economy etc. I suddenly remembered SBS’s drama Pinocchio (2014) starring Park Shin Hye and Lee Jong Suk. It’s a drama where the most powerful people hyped up celebrity news to hide conspiracies. (Crying because of Lee Jong Suk’s upcoming military hiatus.)
Seungri has declared his retirement from the entertainment industry. Netizens in Korea are rather scornful about his attitude.
Following a series of scandals that connect to serious crimes, Seungri released a retirement statement through Instagram. Below is the full statement translated:
This is Seungri.
I think it would be best if I retire from the entertainment industry at this point. I decided to retire because the issues that I’ve caused the societal disturbance with are too heavy. Regarding the issues that are being investigated, I will clear up the suspicions by cooperating diligently.
I’ve been receiving criticism and hate from the public for the past month and a half. And every investigation agencies are currently investigating me. As I’m branded as a nation’s traitor, I can’t tolerate myself causing harms to everyone around me to save myself.
I sincerely thank all the fans who have supported me for the past 10 years. I think I’m done here, for the honor of YG and BIGBANG.
Once again, I’m sorry. I have been thankful of everyone so far.
From the tone of the statement to the way it was delivered, many people on the internet are speaking how senseless it is. Take a look at the tweets below.
SR’s declaration of retirement brings nothing but a sneer. (It’s funny) how he thought he is in the position to ‘decide’ to retire at this point.
One of the comments on Seungri’s retirement article: “As if he is just leaving a group chat room”
It’s not a big deal to retire from the entertainment industry when he retired from being a human.
I read Seungri’s Instagram retirement statement and it’s so funny how it sounds so raw, like it wasn’t filtered by a lawyer. It sounds like an ex-boyfriend who realized that he was going to be dumped and break up with the girl first to feel braggy about being the one who dumped somebody. I can see that he is filled with anger based on the wording “nation’s traitor.” Dude, you sure were abandoned.”
Look at the first sentence lol. “I think it would be best if I retire” lol. Is he choosing what to have for lunch?
It’s so obvious that he is grinding his teeth. What is he saying about being labeled as a nation’s traitor? Are you feeling victimized? Lol. All I can feel from the statement is him complaining about being hated by people. What is him to think that he can calm the situation by his retirement? His retirement has nothing to do with the investigation.
Seungri, you retired on Instagram. Have your funeral on Instagram too.
Now that he retired from the entertainment industry he can debut at Seoul Southern Detention Center.
HIGHLIGHT’s Yong Jun-hyung and FT Island’s Lee Hong-gi have opened their mouths about Seungri’s group chat.
Previously, Jung Joon-Young has been accused of filming sexual footages and sharing them to the group chat room with Seungri and other celebrities whose names are yet to be revealed.
As the media report distinguished one of the chat room members by his last name Yong, the guesses are narrowed down to HIGHLIGHT’s member Yong Joon-hyung. About the accusation, Yong Jun-hyung said, “the reported contents are not true at all.”
“While I’m confused myself, I thought many would be worried or angry so I’m posting this myself,” said Yong Jun-hyung through Instagram. “I felt confused when the reports told me that I participated or was involved in this incident. At the same time, the fact that my name is mentioned in the incident like this made me reflect on myself.”
“Reported contents, which exclude previous or following contexts, are not true at all and I did not even realize that kind of incident happened at that time when I first heard about it,” he continued. “Some may find me guilty for just thoughtlessly asking back (in the chat room). I will make sure I’m careful with everything I say in the future.”
According to the media reports, Yong asked, “It was caught by the girl?” when Jung Jun-young said, “I was caught filming and sharing the videos lol.”
At the same time, Lee Hong-gi eased fans’ worries by making an appearance at a fan chat room. Previously, one of the reports accidentally did not delete Lee Hong-gi’s full name from the article about the chat room.
In the fans’ group chat room, Lee Hong-gi said, “Things got messed up overnight. Don’t worry. I will see you all at the live tomorrow,” in a rather light tone.
Although he did not mention the chat room directly, it seems like the singer is suggestively denying his participation in the chat room.
KBS announced the 29 participating groups and singers for its yearend song festival.
On December 20, KBS announced the third and final lineup for 2018 KBS Song Festival, which will be held on December 28 at 8:30 PM.
The newly announced teams are Celeb Five and Kim Yeon-ja, who have established their own genres in K-pop with unique music and performances. With their participation, a total of 29 teams are performing for the upcoming song festival.
Take a look at the list below for the artists to make appearances in 2018 KBS Song Festival:
Boy Groups – BTS, EXO, Wanna One, Seventeen, BTOB, Norazo, VIXX, NU’EST W, GOT7, Monsta X, and NCT 127 Girl Groups – TWICE, Red Velvet, GFriend, A-Pink, Oh My Girl, (G)I-dle, AOA, Lovelyz, Momoland, WJSN, and Celeb Five Solo Artists – Hwang Chi-yeol, Sunmi, Chungha, Yong Jun-hyung, 10CM, Roy Kim, and Kim Yeon-ja
The owner of an investment firm visits Granada, Spain for a business trip. When he stays at a hostel owned by a former guitarist, he gets involved in a mysterious incident.
Coffee, Do Me a Favor
Starring Yong Jun-hyung, Kim Min-young, Chae Seo-jin, Lee Tae-ri, and more
“Coffee, Do Me a Favor” depicts the love story between a good-looking webtoon artist and girl who finds a magical coffee that turns her into a beautiful girl.
Starring Kim Min-seok, Kim Seul-ki, and more
Every Saturday from December 1, tvN is airing ten one-act dramas written by the winners of O’PEN One-Act Scenario Contest. The hottest K-drama stars, including Kim Min-seok, Kim Seul-ki, and Han Seon-hwa, are to make appearances in each episode.
Less Than Evil
Starring Sin Ha-kyun, Lee Seol, Baro, and more
The crime thriller drama follows the psychological battle between a detective and a psychopathic murderer.
Starring Jang Dong-yoon, Park Se-wan, and more
Based on a documentary film under the same title, “Just Dance” is a coming-of-age drama centers on six high school students who aspire to win a dance sports competition.
The Sound of Your Heart Reboot Season 2
Starring Sung Hoon, Kwon Yoo-ri, and more
The Netflix comedy series based on popular webtoon is coming back with the second season. From the “Reboot” series, Sung Hoon is acting the main character
My Strange Hero
Starring Yoo Seung-ho, Jo Bo-ah, Kwak Dong-yeon, and more
Bok-su, who was falsely accused of school violence and kicked out of school, comes back to his high school as an adult to take revenge.
Highlight’s member Yong Jun-hyung is to comeback as an actor in new drama, “Coffee, Do Me a Favor.”
“Coffee, Do Me a Favor” is a romantic comedy drama about a woman who drinks magical coffee to become pretty and an online cartoonist who is cynical about love. The drama has completed the production and is now ready to premiere.
The upcoming drama stars K-pop group Highlight’s member Yong Jun-hyung as the male lead. Actresses Kim Min-young and Chae Seo-jin are starring as the female leads.
“Lim Hyun-woo,” the role Yong Jun-hyung is to show, is a chic and obtrusive character. He is a professional online cartoonist who seems to be well aware of romantic relationship. But in reality, he is cynical about romance. Fans are eagerly waiting to see his drama comeback in five years.
“Coffee, Do Me a Favor,” is to premiere on December 1.
HIGHLIGHT celebrates 9th anniversary with heartfelt posts and announcement of upcoming music and solo concert!
On October 16, HIGHLIGHT members expressed their gratitude towards fans through Instagram posts. Along with the posts, the group held a V live broadcast the day prior to their actually anniversary, where they announced the release of a new track on October 29 and solo concert in November.
First, Son Dong-Woon said, “since middle school, when I had begun training, until the day I debuted, I had never felt easy about anything. I was worried everything could fall apart in any second. However, you were the ones who brought stability and completed my life. I sincerely hope that there will be enough time in the future for me to repay all the love, and I hope that I could be that person who is capable of doing so.”
He continued, “my dear friend, Lights. You’ve done a great job so far, congratulations on 9th anniversary, and please keep taking of us.”
Yang Yo-Seob said, “just like this picture, where everyone became one team with one heart and one goal, we will always walk our path together as a team. I’m aware that some of our decisions from the past may have been a little upsetting to you. However, our fans, staff, and colleagues have always had our backs and continued to encourage and help us. Thank you. Also to my friends, Yoon, Yong, Lee, and Song. I hereby state my respect and gratitude to you.”
Yong Jun-Hyung briefly said, “Happy 9th anniversary,” along with the picture of HIGHLIGHT members. In the picture, the 4 members held a picture of Yoon Doo-Joon instead, for he is currently serving in the military and could not be with them on this day.
Lastly, Lee Gi-Kwang said, “it’s our 9th anniversary. I sincerely thank all our fans, who have supported us, encouraged us, and taken care of us for the longest time ever. Because of you, I was able to happily dance and sing with my friends until now. From now on, I will work ever harder and I will improve upon myself. Please continue to take care of us.”
He also thanked his company staff members. Lee said, “also, to all staff at our company, thank you so much for working hard even when no one can see you. Finally, to my members. I’m honestly very glad that we are together and that i have you. I’m grateful every day and I enjoy it very much. Let’s be together for the next hundreds and thousands of years. I love you.”
The day has finally arrived, and Highlight members have written sweet messages for Yoon, as he became the group’s first member to enlist in the military.
First, Song Dong-Woon left a long message, wishing his hyung a safe service. The singer said, “it’s very regrettable since I’ve been waiting so long for the five of us to get on that stage, putting out the coolest, and most fun performances. It’s also been very long since the last time I saw you, and it bothers me that I couldn’t even get to say goodbye. We might not even exist if you hadn’t been a part of our group, let alone being the leader.”
He continued, “I trust you and follow you, and I love you so much. You are such an innocent person, asking me to hang out since you will be done with filming in a few weeks. I know it will be hard to say goodbye as everyone leaves one by one, but today I feel like crying. Since it’s my first performance, I can’t show it on the outside, but I think I will be a bit down today. Forever our Highlight’s leader, forever my hyung, please return safely.”
Lee Ki-Kwang said, “my friend, Doo-Joon. You’ve done a good job since high school and as a leader until now. Put down your burdens for now, serve well as a soldier, and rest for a bit. Be healthy and let’s meet again soon and restart happily. I love you, Yoon Doo-Joon.”