K-Pop Star Jung Joon-young Arrested for Part in Alleged Lewd Video Scandal

K-Pop star Jung Joon-young was arrested this week after allegedly recording women without their consent and sharing the sexually explicit videos to a group that included other South Korean musicians.

jung-joon-young_getty-JUNG YEON-JE : Contributor
(Photo: JUNG YEON-JE / Contributor, Getty)

Jung, 30, is one of five K-pop stars who have been under investigation as part of the alleged non-consensual video sex scandal, which has become known as the Burning Sun Scandal, according to the South China Morning Post.

Four other members of the K-pop genre, which is known for its clean-cut, highly managed image, are under investigation: Big Bang's Seungri, F.T. Island member Choi Jong-hoon, Highlight singer Yong Jun-hyung and CNBlue's Lee Jong-hyun.

All but Lee have left the industry in the wake of the allegations, although none of them have been arrested except for Jung.

The five men are suspected of participating in a group chat where they allegedly shared explicit videos of at least 10 women engaging in sex acts, either unaware they were being filmed or who did not consent to it.

The Korea Times obtained text messages that allegedly show the men sending the videos, making jokes about rape and discussing their sexual encounters.

Seungi, 28, is also under investigation for sex abuse, sex trafficking and allegedly drugging female customers at his former nightclub Burning Sun — the namesake of the scandal.

Choi, 29, is accused of bribing a policeman to cover up his past DUI records from 2016, according to SCMP.

Jung was first questioned by police last week. On Thursday, he appeared in court, publicly issuing an apology for his alleged filming and sharing of the videos, and was arrested by South Korean Police shortly after.

"I am truly sorry. I admit to all charges against me. I will not challenge the charges brought by the investigative agency, and I will humbly accept the court's decision," he said, according to CNN. "I bow my head in apology to the women who were victimized by my actions."

CBC reports that it is common for South Koreans to issue apologies during scandals.

It's unclear when Jung's next court hearing is scheduled for. If he's found guilty, he faces a potential five years in prison or fines of more than $26,000, according to CNN.

Jung first made waves in the K-pop scene in 2012 on Superstar K4, a South Korean talent show series where he finished in third place. From there, he hosted several TV and radio shows before finding success in a solo music career.

His debut album in 2013 helped him win Best New Male Solo Artist of the Year at South Korea's annual Gaon Chart K-pop Awards. His latest album, The First Person, was released in 2017.

Jung and Choi were dropped by their management companies in the wake of the allegations. Seungri and Yong, 29, exited the industry on their own, taking to Instagram to announce the news.

"I think I'd better leave the entertainment industry at this moment," Seungri wrote on March 11. "I just cannot bear causing any further damage to people around me, while being hated and criticized by the public and being treated as a nation's enemy during the investigation."

Seungri has denied all allegations against him.

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Yong's emotional post came on March 14 and saw him share his side of the story, deny all allegations and announce his official departure from Highlights. "I will withdraw from the group Highlights on March 14, 2019, as I realize the seriousness of this issue and I do not want to do any further damage to my fans and members who have been disappointed by me," he said.

Lee and Choi have also denied the allegations.