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.
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.”