Has Seungri escaped K-pop storm? Reports say he has been called up for military duty

Former BigBang singer Seungri has yet to face court charges, despite being one of the first to be engulfed in the K-pop scandal.
Former BigBang singer Seungri has yet to face court charges, despite being one of the first to be engulfed in the K-pop scandal.PHOTO: AFP

Seungri is a survivor.

Even as two other K-pop artists - Jung Joon-young and Choi Jong-hoon, now face possible jail terms, the ex-BigBang singer has yet to face court charges.

Seungri, along with Jung and Choi, were among the first names to be engulfed in a K-pop scandal that broke out in January this year.

The prosecutors are seeking a seven-year prison term for Jung for allegedly gang-raping women as well as filming and distributing videos of his sexual activities.

Seungri was said to be among the members of a chatroom with access to the videos.

Choi, who is suspected of having taken part in a gang rape with Jung and others in 2016, could be jailed for up to five-years.

The authorities have questioned Seungri, including one interrogation that lasted more than 12 hours in August, and the police have recommended to prosecutors that he should be charged with gambling offences.

He is said to have incurred losses amounting to more than US$1 million (S$1.36 million) while gambling in Las Vegas.

Still, Seungri, whose other misbehaviour allegedly ranges from procurement of prostitutes for would-be investors of his businesses to drug use, has stayed above water.

Some observers feel that Seungri has dodged punishment because he has not committed any major wrong-doing and that his alleged offences pale against those of Jung and Choi.

They note too that Seungri, who has a higher profile than the others implicated in the K-pop storm, has already suffered shame and embarrassment in public from the wide media coverage.

But given that almost a year has elapsed since the K-pop storm broke and that Jung and Choi could be bringing the controversy to a close with their sentencing set for Nov 29, the public, weary of the never-ending reports, might be happy to settle for a lighter punishment for Seungri.

This could be a fine or a suspended jail sentence.

Astute netizens have noted that reports of Seungri being called up for military duty suggest that the prosecutors could be easing up on him - at least for now - and let him fulfil other responsibilities.

This development has found support online, with netizens saying that Seungri's life should not be in limbo if repeated questioning and probes cannot dig up much dirt on him.

Others said he has already been tried - in the court of public opinion - and that he has already paid a penalty in leaving BigBang.