K-pop scandal widens as singer admits sharing secretly filmed sex videos | Music | The Guardian

Jung Joon-young apologises and says he will retire, one day after singer Seungri was charged with running a prostitution ring

K-pop star Jung Joon-young is surrounded by reporters as he arrives at Incheon airport amid the sex scandal Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

A sex scandal swirling around South Korea’s K-pop industry has deepened after a singer and TV celebrity admitted he had secretly filmed himself having sex with women and sharing the footage online without their consent.

Jung Joon-young, who rose to fame after coming second in a TV talent show, said he would retire from show business and admitted he had shared footage of several women in a group chatroom.

Members of the chatroom allegedly included Seungri, a K-pop star who was charged this week over allegations that he ran an illegal prostitution ring.

“I admit to all my crimes,” Jung, 30, said in a statement, according to Yonhap news agency.

“I filmed women without their consent and shared it in a chatroom, and while I was doing so I didn’t feel a great sense of guilt.”

“Most of all, I kneel down to apologise to the women who appear in the videos and all those who might be disappointed and upset at this shocking incident.”

On Tuesday evening, police charged him with illegal filming and leaking visual material.

Jung was one of three male artists in the chatroom, where some members shared secretly filmed footage of a sexual nature of at least 10 women, according to broadcaster SBS.

The talent agency SM Entertainment dismissed speculation that one of its stars, a member of the boy band EXO, was part of the chatroom group. “It is a groundless rumour,” it said, adding, “We’ll take all legal measures against those who are found to have committed unlawful acts.”

JYP Entertainment, meanwhile, denied rumours that a member of its girl group, TWICE, was among the women shown in the sex videos.

Molka - secretly filmed images of a sexual nature that often end up online – has reached epidemic proportions in South Korea.

Last summer, tens of thousands of women held demonstrations in Seoul demanding that the police take tougher action against offenders.

The allegations against Jung and Seungri have rocked K-pop, whose global appeal generates billions of dollars for the South Korean economy.

“This case just shows that male K-pop stars are no exception when it comes to being part of this very disturbing reality that exploits women,” said Bae Bok-ju, a women’s rights activist.

Jung was charged in 2016 with filming a partner during sex without her consent, but prosecutors dropped the case after the alleged victim withdrew her accusation. Police in Seoul said they would question him over the new allegations later this week.

Seungri, a member of the K-pop quintet Big Bang, announced his retirement this week, but denied allegations that he had procured prostitutes for potential foreign investors at nightclubs in the Gangnam district of Seoul.

Agence France-Presse contributed to this report.