SEOUL • South Korean rapper Psy admitted that Malaysian fugitive Low Taek Jho was his friend and that both men had attended a dinner arranged by Mr Yang Hyun-suk, founder and chief executive of K-pop powerhouse YG Entertainment.
Low - sought by the authorities in Malaysia, Singapore and the United States in connection with the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal - earlier said through a spokesman that he had met Mr Yang through his friend Psy.
But Low denied claims that he had received sexual services procured by Mr Yang at the dinner party.
The MBC programme Straight, aired late on Monday, reported allegations that Mr Yang had hosted dinner parties and offered sexual services for two wealthy South-east Asian investors in July 2014.
One of the investors was reported to be Low, a central figure in the scandal in which US$4.5 billion (S$6.2 billion) was allegedly embezzled from Malaysian state investment fund 1MDB. The other investor was said to be a Thai man, known as Bob.
"Regardless of whether he was a good friend or not, it is clear that I was his (Low's) friend," Psy wrote on his Instagram account on Wednesday.
DINNER WITH FRIENDS
When Jho Low and his friends visited Korea, Yang and I were invited to a dinner with them. We had the meal and drinks with other guests, and Yang and I left the table early.
SOUTH KOREAN RAPPER PSY, who wrote in an Instagram post on Wednesday about his connection to the Malaysian fugitive.
"When Jho Low and his friends visited Korea, Yang and I were invited to a dinner with them. We had the meal and drinks with other guests, and Yang and I left the table early."
When Psy met him, Low had a significant presence in show business.
In his post, Psy said he had introduced Low to Mr Yang. "At the time, I just thought it was a dinner gathering with a friend from afar," he said. "I apologise for causing concern."
South Korean police are investigating Mr Yang.
YG Entertainment is considered one of the "Big Three" entertainment companies in South Korea. K-pop acts such as Big Bang, Blackpink and Winner hail from YG.
At the dinner party for Low and Bob, there were 25 women - including more than 10 prostitutes from an adult entertainment establishment with close ties to YG - and eight men accompanying Mr Yang, according to the MBC programme.
YG has denied the allegations and called them "groundless".
The police have also begun a probe into suspicions that the Thai man had raped a woman last year.
Meanwhile, Malaysia is seeking to appeal against a London court decision that put on hold a suit between 1MDB and Abu Dhabi's state fund for further arbitration, saying the matter is of public importance.
Malaysia's Finance Ministry and 1MDB have filed an application with the UK Court of Appeal to seek permission to challenge the order, Attorney-General Tommy Thomas said in a statement yesterday.
The London court's decision for further arbitration was "not satisfactory to Malaysia" as it meant the case would be determined without public scrutiny, he said.
Judge Robin Knowles ruled on Monday last week that he would grant a "temporary" stay of "indefinite duration" over Malaysia's claim that its agreement to the US$5.78 billion settlement should be overturned.
THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK, BLOOMBERG