Former BIGBANG star Seungri blames phone's autocorrect after being suspected of prostitution during his hearing

Former BIGBANG member Seungri appears at Seoul District Court
Former BIGBANG member Seungri appears at Seoul District Court

On June 30, former BIGBANG member Seungri attended the last trial where he was charged for arranging prostitution services for his foreign clients. He was also accused of active involvement in filming illegal sexual content without consent and sharing it with text messaging groups.

Seungri vehemently denied all charges against him when he attended a general military court in Yongin. The controversy, notoriously referred to as the Burning Sun scandal, marked the beginning of a huge wave of controversies in the K-pop industry.

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What are the charges that Seungri was indicted on?

Seungri was indicted on a total of eight charges. They are:

  1. Purchase of prostitution services
  2. Prostitution mediation
  3. Embezzlement violation of the Act on the Aggravated Punishment, etc. of Specific Economic Crimes
  4. Violation of the Food Sanitation Act
  5. Habitual gambling
  6. Violation of the Foreign Exchange Transactions Act
  7. Violation of the Act on Special Cases Concerning the Punishment, etc. of Sexual Crimes

In addition to the above, Seungri, along with former business partner Yoo In-suk, were also indicted on charges of special violence instigation. However, Seungri strongly denied those charges that include prostitution services, prostitution mediation, filming illegally hidden camera footage, embezzlement, and habitual gambling.

K-pop Star Seungri appears in front of Seoul police for questioning over gambling overseas
K-pop Star Seungri appears in front of Seoul police for questioning over gambling overseas

Yoo In-suk, unlike Seungri, confessed to all charges about prostitution mediation during the first trial. He is known to handle all the finances of the Burning Sun Club. He also co-owned Yuri Holdings along with Seungri. This was another reason why Seungri came under suspicion.

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What did Seungri say in court at the Burning Sun Scandal trial?

Seungri, while denying all charges, explained that he was not even aware that he had sent a text stating,

“[Get a] woman who gives well.”

He said that this was a typo committed and said,

"I didn’t know anything, and I found out during the investigation."

Seungri added,

"I remember I said ‘people who know how to have fun.’ Unfortunately, I think it was a typo due to the autocorrection on my iPhone. I’m really sorry, but that’s what I believe.”

Seungri also observed that the women who were present when the investigated incident occurred were not prostitutes. Instead, he pointed out that they were acquaintances of other people from chatrooms that he was unaware of.

He said,

"To repay people all over the world for celebrating my birthday at the end of the year, I invited Koji Aoyama, his wife, and other foreign friends for a big Christmas party. Unfortunately, I only paid attention to taking care of my acquaintances, and I only found out about the women during the investigation.”

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Seungri of BIGBANG at a Seoul Central District Court
Seungri of BIGBANG at a Seoul Central District Court

He also particularly referred to his acquaintances who were accused of receiving sexual flavors and said,

“There is no reason for them to receive sexual favors.”

Seungri claimed that he was not aware of the full extent of Yoo In-suk's actions

When prosecutors questioned Seungri about his partnership with Yoo In-suk in Yuri Holding, he said that he was not aware of the financial side of the business.

Seungri said,

"I didn’t prepare Yuri Holdings with Yoo In Suk from the beginning. Instead, I was preparing Mildang Pocha with my friends to cut down on the cost of entertainment."
Seungri of BIGBANG Appears At Seoul Central District Court
Seungri of BIGBANG Appears At Seoul Central District Court

Seungri accused investigators of making up accusations against him

He was also asked about the messages on the group chat, and to this, he said,

"I think Yoo In Suk’s actions are extremely personal. I don’t know how that’s related to my business."

He added,

"Even though I was investigated on charges of providing sexual favors, there was nothing that linked my direct involvement in it, so I wonder if the investigators made it up."

About the chat messages, in particular, Seungri said,

"Just because messages were shared in the group chat doesn’t mean that I’m aware of everything."

He then added about the group chats,

"The messages in that chatroom are not everything in my life. There were more than ten chatrooms that I participated in, and I used about five other social media apps besides Kakaotalk."

Seungri then detailed,

"There are 500 messages that accumulate in just an hour. So just because I get messages doesn’t mean I saw and knew about them all.”

However, Seungri apologized for the use of inappropriate terms and messages in one of the groups and said,

"Since the chatroom was only between friends, there was an exchange of inappropriate words and actions. I didn’t know they would be revealed, so I apologize to the public."

What fans think of Seungri's statement

Edited by Srijan Sen
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