Seungri’s career started to take a hit when he was involved in a sex scandal with a Japanese woman in 2012. As a result, he left BIG BANG’s promotional activities to reflect on himself.
He returned to the entertainment world after a year of hiatus by appearing in the SBS talk show Incarnation in 2013. During the event, Seungri said that the scandal helped him grow into a more mature person.
Seungri once again stumbled on a case that dragged his name. In 2019, his name was caught in a string of controversies starting from the Burning Sun case, bribery of sexual services to foreign investors, to the distribution of illegal sex videos and photos in the KakaoTalk chat group.
Burning Sun is a club that was originally owned by Seungri until he finally resigned from the position of director after the case went public. The Burning Sun case was first reported by South Korean media on January 28th, 2019. It was reported that the club had an incident of beating customers as it was revealed that one of the visitors was beaten by the Burning Sun security staff.
Who would have thought that the scandal that first started by beating would then turn into a full-blown prostitution and bribery scandal that also dragged many fellow idols’ names. His name was dragged to the allegations of pimping, prostitution, drug trafficking, tax evasion, recording and distribution of illegal sex videos, bribery, and even police corruption.
After the Burning Sun scandal subsided, Seungri’s name was again dragged into a scandal involving bribe for sexual services to foreign investors that happened in 2015. This news was first reported by SBS funE on February 26th, 2019, when they released a chat between Seungri, CEO Yoo of Yuri Holdings, and an employee named Kim.
In the chat, Seungri asked Kim to hire commercial sex workers at Club Arena for foreign investors. Regarding this case, Seungri was named a suspect by the police.
Although, initially, Yuri Holdings and YG Entertainment denied all these accusations, the police said all chats involving Seungri’s name were real.
On March 11th, 2019, Seungri’s name was again dragged in the mud because he had joined a group containing the distribution of illegal sex videos and photos belonging to Jung Joon-young. Even though Seungri did not share the videos and photos, in the chat reported by SBS funE, Seungri seemed to support the action. The scandal also involved other famous K-Pop idols such as HIGHLIGHT’s Yong Junhyung, CN BLUE’s Lee Jong-hyun, and FT Island’s Choi Jong-hoon.
After a career of almost 13 years, Seungri surprised his fans with his decision to retire from the entertainment world that had made his name big. This he revealed on his personal Instagram account on March 11th, 2020, or the day after he was named a suspect.
He said he chose to quit the world of entertainment because he wanted to protect the people closest to him. Seungri also said that he wanted to protect the honor of YG Entertainment and his group, BIG BANG.
In his Instagram post, he wrote: “Hello, this is Seungri. At this point, I thought it would be best if I retired from the entertainment industry. I decided to retire from the entertainment industry because of the problems I was causing. The distractions and problems in society are too great. Regarding the matter that is being investigated, I will accept all investigations and reveal all suspicions. I received criticism and hatred from the public for the past month and a half, and all the agencies in this country are investigating me, I am even considered a traitor to Korea. Personally, I can’t tolerate hurting everyone around me to save myself. I want to sincerely thank all the fans in Korea and around the world who have given me lots of love over the past 10 years. I think this is where my end [as a celebrity] will be, even if it is [to protect] the honor of YG Entertainment and BIG BANG. Once again, I apologize and want to apologize once again. I am very grateful to everyone until now.”
In response to this, YG Entertainment said that Seungri did not consult before making this big decision. YG only knows that Seungri is very depressed by all the problems that plague him because it is close to his military service period.
YG Entertainment later confirmed Seungri’s contract termination through a statement released on March 13th, 2019.
Hello, this is YG Entertainment.
Starting with the assault case at the club that Seungri participated in, various suspicions and controversies have continuously arisen. We bow our heads and express deep apologies for causing trouble to many people including fans.
On March 12th, following the announcement of Seungri’s retirement, YG agreed to Seungri’s request and decided to terminate his exclusive contract.
YG acknowledges that as a management company, we were not able to manage thoroughly, and we are deeply reflecting.
Lastly, YG realizes the need for extensive reform and promises to put in our full effort into achieving this together with all of our staff.
Seungri then began his military enlistment in Nonsan Army Training Center on March 25th, 2019. The case is still going on up to this day, making the public suspicious that there is bribery involved in the police institution.
Aori Ramen, founded by BIG BANG’s Seungri, is reportedly bankrupt following the outbreak of COVID-19 and a boycott of Japanese products.
Aori FNB, also known as Factory N, eventually also went bankrupt. This is due to the decline in sales caused by the Burning Sun incident, the boycott of Japanese products due to anti-Japanese sentiment, and the economic crisis caused by the current Coronavirus pandemic.
According to the court, on March 26th, 2020, Factory N filed for bankruptcy with the Seoul Bankruptcy Court on March 24th, 2020. This step is to declare bankruptcy because the company’s debt exceeds the total value of its assets.
The biggest reason why Factory N filed for bankruptcy was Seungri’s risk as to the owner. The company said Seungri’s scandal with Burning Sun caused sales to continue to decline. In addition, “Anti Japan” was also cited as the reason for bankruptcy, as the boycott of Japanese products, such as ramen, affected sales. The current economic slowdown has made it even more difficult for companies to repay their debts.
Factory N has asked the court for bankruptcy, saying that they will stop the Aori Ramen project. Several branches of Aori Ramen are still operating, but all of them will end in the future. This includes overseas branches in Malaysia and China.
The Seoul Bankruptcy Court will see if Factory N has been objective in their decision, that they are completely unable to pay back their debts, rather than temporarily having debts exceeding their assets. If Factory N’s bankruptcy declaration is accepted, the respective creditors will not be able to force Factory N to pay their debts. Conversely, a bankruptcy officer will fairly allocate the remaining company assets to creditors.
Meanwhile, Aori Ramen broke their relationship with Seungri back in March 2019 after the Burning Sun scandal was exposed. It was done as an effort in the hope of getting their customers back. However, the company’s condition did not improve so they had to declare bankruptcy.
Well, those are all the intricate details about BIG BANG’s maknae Seungri: from his complete career journey to his controversies! What do you think about him? Kindly drop your thoughts in the comment section below!