As police continue to investigate the shocking allegations that Seungri has been acting as an agent for prostitution, the Big Bang singer announced his decision to retire from the entertainment industry.
Seungri is under an intense police investigation for allegedly soliciting prostitutes for VIP guests at nightclubs, and amidst the controversy, he has decided to end his career as a singer in the K-Pop group, Big Bang. The 28-year-old was officially booked by police and is being considered a suspect in this scandal, E! News confirmed on March 10. He took to Instagram on March 11 to reveal that he will be retiring, with a lengthy message in which he apologized to fans for everything that’s been going on, although he did not confirm his involvement in anything he has been accused of.
“At this point in time, I think it is best if I retire from the entertainment industry,” he wrote. “Due to the criticism and trouble I have caused within the public being so severe, I have decided to retire. I will also be faithfully cooperating with the issues being investigated in ode to reveal all the doubts and speculations circulating. Fo the past month and a half, I have been receiving backlash and hatred from the citizens of this country. Currently being investigated by many detectives, I am also being coined as a societal traitor (country’s traitor). With everything going on, I cannot bare to allow myself to put those around me in harm’s way just so I alone could survive. I would like to genuinely thank all my fans, both Korean and oversea, who have showered me with love for the past ten+ years. In order to protect both YGE and BIGBANG’s reputation/honor, I feel that it is best if I end it here. once again, I am sorry, so very sorry.”
Reports of shady happenings taking place at Seungri’s club, Burning Sun, began at the end of January, with allegations of violence and drug use made against the club’s employees. Police began investigating at the end of the month, and Seungri released an apology, although he claimed to have no knowledge of these alleged incidents. At the end of February, Seungri was accused of acting as an agent for prostitution at the club after his messages from a 2015 KakaoTalk chat were leaked online. Seungri insisted the messages were fabricated. He spent hours in a Q&A session with police on Feb. 28.
At the beginning of March, more KakaoTalk messages, this time from April 2016, were leaked, and they once again appeared to show Seungri making plans to hire prostitutes for his clients. Seungri again claimed the messages were fake. On March 10, evidence from another nightclub, ARENA, which reportedly further showed Seungri’s alleged involvement in the prostitution scandal, was seized by police. It was after this evidence was reviewed that Seungri was officially booked as a suspect.
Big Bang is one of the most highly-regarded acts in K-pop music, and the group debuted more than ten years ago. Seungri has also embarked on a solo career in the years since. While many fans urged YG Entertainment to fire Seungri from the group amidst these scandals, hundreds of others were also admittedly devastated when he announced his retirement on March 11. Seungri was expected to enlist in the military on March 25, although it’s unclear if that date will be delayed due to his current legal issues.