A rep from YG Entertainment says Seungri has been 'in pain'

A rep from YG Entertainment says Seungri has been 'in pain'

A rep from YG Entertainment says Seungri has been 'in pain'

Seungri, a member of Korean boy group Big Bang, took to social media to announce his retirement from the entertainment industry.

The decision came a day after he was charged with providing prostitutes to foreign investors in his private club, media said, driving down shares of his agency as much as 16 percent. His retirement comes with immediate effect and Seungri will be leaving the band which has sold over 140 million records since their 2006 debut and are known as the "Kings of K-pop".

The K-pop star, whose real name is Lee Seung-hyun, apologized to his fans and said he had been branded a "traitor to the nation". The Seoul nightclub was owned by Seungri at that time.

He's also been linked by local media reports to "sex bribery" by providing sex service to potential investors in his company, Yuri Holdings. He could be looking at a three-year jail sentence if convicted of the charges.

"We booked Seungri and changed his status to that of a suspect in order to issue a search and seizure warrant and clear [Seungri] of the suspicions", a police spokesman said at a press conference.

There is no suggestion whatsoever that Seungri was involved with the alleged wrongdoing.

Prostitution is illegal in South Korea.

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"I have faced heavy criticism from the public for the last month and-a-half and I'm being probed by all investigative authorities in the country", the star wrote in his Instagram post (via BBC). I personally can not tolerate causing harm to everyone around me in order to save myself.

"I would like to sincerely thank all of the fans both in and out of Korea who have shown me love for the past ten years".

Seungri isn't the first member of Big Bang to be embroiled in controversy, however.

Band leader G-Dragon was also investigated for smoking marijuana in 2011, although he was released without indictment.

In South Korea they are showbiz royalty - but their popularity has spread across Asia and the rest of the world.

An example of the band's fame in action: G-Dragon is now performing his two-year term of military service - which is mandatory for able-bodied men in South Korea.

Seungri was due to enrol on 25 March but could ask for a deferment while he addresses the allegations.

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