In the fast-changing world of K-Pop, every news headline comes with a brief period of relevance and is replaced quickly with something more recent and exciting. But on some rare occasions, certain news pieces come back into the spotlight, but with the worst possible twist.
Here are some K-Pop news headlines that didn’t go down well in history:
1. Kris Wu And A 16-Year-Old Co-star
Kris Wu, the former K-Pop idol who was active in China as an actor and singer after leaving South Korea, drew a lot of attention with his single, “Eternal Love,” in 2019. One of the main attractions of the release was the music video, which featured a 16-year-old Mitsuki “Koki” Kimura, the youngest daughter of J-Pop icon Kimura Takuya. She played the role of the romantic female protagonist against Kris Wu in the music video.
The cinematic video was very well-received by fans back then. But fast forward to 2022, and the situation had reversed so severely that the same headline would have immediately rang blaring alarms all around. In 2022, Kris Wu was sentenced to 13 years in prison for raping and sexually harassing multiple women, including minors.
2. The Rising Star Lee Seo Won
Lee Seo Won debuted in 2015 with the drama The Awl, and by 2018, he was said to be on his track to becoming the “next big thing” in the Korean entertainment industry. He would often be compared to stars like Park Bo Gum and Song Joong Ki by industry insiders, and his career trajectory did follow theirs closely.
However, that grand prediction came crashing down soon when the actor got charged with sexual harassment and threatening a female celebrity with a weapon. On April 8, 2018, Lee underwent investigation for the charges, but at that time, he didn’t inform the production staff of his ongoing projects about the incident. When the news broke out, he was replaced in the drama About Time and also removed from his role as the host of Music Bank.
During the first three trials, Lee pled guilty to all charges, but his lawyer argued that he had “diminished mental and physical faculties” due to intoxication and asked for lenient sentencing. He then enlisted in the military in the middle of the trial proceedings, and the case was transferred to the military court in 2019. He was sentenced to one year in prison, suspended for two years of probation, by the military court, but he has since appealed the sentence, which is being reviewed now.
3. Seungri And Burning Sun
In 2018, former BIGBANG member Seungri started a new business venture, a bar called the Burning Sun, at the Le Meridien Hotel in Gangnam, Seoul. When the news was publicized, a lot of attention was drawn to the VVIP menu, which included extremely high-priced items. The club was deemed to be one of the best in Asia for its high-end appeal.
This same Burning Sun is now burned into the memories of every Korean pop culture enthusiast as the site of one of the most reprehensible sex crime scandals in the industry. The club was exposed for soliciting underage prostitution, drugging and exploiting women, and even facilitating sadistic sexual violence and illegal “snuff” filming. Seungri was charged with nine different offenses for his involvement with the Burning Sun scandal and sentenced to 3 years in prison, which was later reduced to 18 months.
4. Jung Joon Young
In 2016, Jung Joon Young was under investigation after his former girlfriend accused him of filming a sex tape without her consent. But the singer was acquitted within a month after police couldn’t find enough evidence to support the accusations. A few months later, he made his comeback to the music industry.
But in 2018, the singer was convicted for his involvement in the Burning Sun scandal. He admitted to the charges of filming and distributing illegal hidden camera videos of women.
This content was originally published here.