SEOUL • Two members of South Korean teenage boyband The East Light have gone to a police station to give additional statements on the alleged assaults at Media Line Entertainment.
In front of reporters who had gathered in front of Bangbae Police Station in Seoul last Friday, Lee Seok-cheol, 18, said he lived in fear due to the threats and beatings.
"I hope my actions do not cause any more victims (of assault). I was only able to make it this far as I held great aspirations of becoming a singer. This whole process is extremely painful and difficult for us," he said.
Lee Seung-hyun, his 17-year-old brother and the band's bassist, replied he was currently seeking professional help after he was asked if he had been seeking psychiatric treatment following the alleged abuse.
In a media report released on Oct 18, Lee Seok-cheol, the band's leader and drummer, accused their producer, identified only as Mr Moon, of physically assaulting and verbally abusing the members of The East Light.
He also said Mr Kim Chang-hwan, the head of the boyband's agency, had turned a blind eye to the abuse.
During a press conference held the following day, Lee Seok-cheol said the producer had threatened to ruin his music career if he told anyone about the abuse.
He said that was why he felt unable to tell his mother when she asked him about the bruises on his body.
In response to the allegations, Mr Kim previously apologised for his "inadequate" management of his employees.
But Lee Seok-cheol said last Friday that the agency had threatened the two brothers, blaming them for The East Light's disbandment.
Media Line announced the boyband's disbandment last Monday amid controversy. On the same day, the Lee brothers filed a police complaint against Mr Kim and Mr Moon regarding the assault case.
Media Line has handled some of South Korea's most successful older-generation artists, including 1990s stars Shin Seung-hun and Kim Gun-mo and early 2000s diva Chae Yeon.
The controversy surrounding The East Light and their representing label highlights a less-discussed problem in South Korea's entertainment industry, where lesser-known artists are prone to abuse by the agency until they make a name for themselves.
THE KOREA HERALD/ ASIA NEWS NETWORK