The K-pop scene has been rocked since January over claims of idols being involved in various scandals, some related to sex.
This week Big Bang’s Seungri was charged with procuring prostitutes for businessmen. Now, the latest developments involve K-pop star Choi Jong-Hoon, better known by his stage name Jonghoon in Five Treasure Island, better known as F.T. Island (often stylized in all capital letters).
The leader of the K-rock band has been confirmed to have retired from both the band, his agency, and the entertainment industry as a whole after “a string of recent controversies”.
The lead-up followed by Jonghoon’s retirement
The central K-pop scandal has focused around allegations linked to prostitution and women being recorded without their permission while carrying out sexual acts.
These videos were said to have been shared in mobile phone group chats, whose members allegedly included Seungri. Chat logs also reportedly show Jonghoon to have been a member, and allegedly reveal that he talked in them about his sexual prowess and endeavors.
He was also recently accused of asking police to cover up a DUI, however FNC Entertainment said on Monday that they had found this not to be the case — although they said he did fail to disclose the matter to his agency.
Jonghoon has now been confirmed to be leaving both F.T. Island and FNC Entertainment, in an official statement from FNC Entertainment.
Jonghun expresses his apologies to those who were harmed due to his inappropriate and embarrassing words and actions in the past. He’s also deeply reflecting on the disappointment he’s given to many fans and members of his team. The agency expresses our deep apologies for being inattentive in terms of managing and teaching proper character to our artists and for causing trouble to so many people because of this unfortunate matter.
Jonghun will now halt celebrity life and live while reflecting on himself. The agency also cannot avoid responsibility regarding Jonghun’s words and actions that cannot be forgiven by society, so we will guide him until the end towards living as a member of society with an upright perception.
Jonghoon follows up with an apology on Instagram
Soon after FNC Entertainment released their official statement on Jonghoon leaving both F.T. Island and the agency, he went to his official Instagram to address the fans, posting an image of the color black with a caption expressing his sorrow.
View this post on Instagram
안녕하세요 최종훈입니다. 저로 인해 불쾌함과 분노를 느끼셨을 국민 여러분께 죄송하단 말씀 올립니다. 보도를 통해 제가 참여한 단톡방의 대화들을 마주했을 때, 잊고 있었던 과거 내용들을 다시 확인하게 되면서 너무나 괴로웠고 부끄러웠습니다. 경솔한 발언들을 아무렇지 않게 하면서 기억하지 못하고 있었다는 것부터가 제가 그 동안 얼마나 잘못된 윤리 의식을 가지고 살고 있었는지 반성이 되었습니다.. 또한 많은 질타와 분노의 글들을 보며 제가 특권 의식에 빠져 있었다는 것을 느끼고 있고 크게 후회하고 있습니다. 저의 부도덕한 생활에 대해 크게 죄를 뉘우치고, 평생 반성하며 살겠습니다. 저 때문에 씻을 수 없는 상처를 받으신 피해자분들께 가장 먼저 고개 숙여 사죄 드립니다. 그리고 이번 일과 무관함에도 거론되어 피해를 입은 다수의 피해자 분들께도 사과의 말씀을 드립니다. 에프티아일랜드 멤버들한테도 리더 자리로써 부끄러운 모습을 보여 면목이 없고, 지금까지 활동 모습을 응원해주신 팬(프리마돈나)..분들께, 믿어주신 만큼의 기대에 부응하지 못하고 신뢰를 저버리게 되어 죄송한 마음입니다. 오늘부로 팀을 떠나고, 연예계 생활을 종료하겠습니다… 죄의식 없이 경솔한 언행을 일삼았던 저의 지난 날에 대해 평생 철저하게 반성하며 살겠습니다. 앞으로의 조사 또한 거짓 없이 성실히 받고, 그에 응당한 대가를 치르겠습니다. 죄송합니다.
For those who do not understand Hangul, a translation of what Jonghoon wrote in his Instagram post has been provided below:
“Hello, this is Choi Jong Hoon.
I am writing this message to apologize to the Korean people who may feel upset and outraged with me.
After reading the conversation in the chatroom I was involved in through the news, I was so distressed and ashamed to come across the past messages I forgot about again.
The fact I made these careless remarks and couldn’t remember them made me reflect on the ethics I’ve been living with. Furthermore, as I read over critical and angry comments, I realized I’d fallen into a sense of entitlement, and I’m in deep regret. I will repent immensely on my sins from my immoral life, and I’ll live while reflecting on this for the rest of my life.
Firstly, I want to bow my head in apology to the victims who were hurt with lasting wounds. I apologize to the numerous victims who’ve been harmed after being dragged into this situation despite having nothing to do with it.
I’m also ashamed of myself as I was the leader of the F.T. Island members, but I acted disgracefully. To the fans PRIMADONNA, who’ve supported me until now, I’m sorry I failed to live up to the expectations you believed in and betrayed your trust in me.
As of today, I’ll leave the team and retire from the entertainment industry. I’ll spend my entire life thoroughly reflecting on my past days when I acted carelessly without any feelings of remorse. I’ll also diligently participate in future investigations without any falsehoods, and I’ll accept the punishment I deserve. I apologize.”