Boy band iKON leader secedes for attempting to buy drugs

Lim Chang-won Reporter() | Posted : June 12, 2019, 16:36 | Updated : June 12, 2019, 16:36

Former iKON member B.I. [Photograph by Yoo Dae-gil]

SEOUL -- B.I, the leader of YG Entertainment's boy band iKON, seceded from his team, apologizing for attempting to purchase drugs. His withdrawal came as a top entertainment powerhouse in South Korea was reeling from a series of scandals.  

In an Instagram post on Wednesday, Kim Han-bin, known by his stage name B.I, said he would withdraw from iKON, a seven-member boy band formed in 2015, after Dispatch, an online media outlet, reported that he attempted to purchase marijuana and LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) in 2016.

"First of all, I sincerely apologize for causing trouble with my inappropriate behavior," the 22-year-old said. "I humbly reflect on my mistake and want to leave the team," he said, admitting that he once had tried to buy drugs.

"It's true that at one time, it was so hard and painful that I wanted to rely on something that I shouldn't even be interested in. But I was too scared and afraid to do it. Nevertheless, I feel so ashamed and sorry for fans and members who were very disappointed and hurt more than anything else because of my wrong words and deeds."

The Instagram post came as shares of YG Entertainment fell 4.05 percent to 31,950 won ($27) on Wednesday.

YG Entertainment showed signs of recovery this month after hitting a record low of 28,300 won on May 27 when a TV station raised suspicions that YG head Yang Hyun-suk may have provided sexual services to two Southeast Asian investors in July 2014 for business favors. The agency has issued a flat denial.

A police investigation into drug use, sexual assault and violence at Burning Sun, a dance and music club associated with Seungri, a former BIGBANG member, was launched after a 28-year-old man claimed in January that he was beaten by Burning Sun employees. Seungri was accused of having used music and dance clubs to arrange sex for business favors in a bid to attract money from foreign investors.

Police also found Burning Sun employees have trafficked drugs. The investigation has exposed a sex video scandal which forced the departure of several celebrities from South Korea's music community. Jung Joon-young, a singer-songwriter, was arrested on charges of sharing illegally filmed sex video files with Seungri and other artists.
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