Seungri denies more drug allegations hurled his way

SEOUL • BigBang singer Seungri is facing "explosions" in his life on two fronts.

Even as he denied claims of drug use and sex-for-favour allegations during questioning by South Korean police, he also has to fend off reports that he inhaled a drug called "happy balloon" during a visit to a Hanoi bar in 2017.

This claim, which was initially made by a Vietnamese media outlet, has prompted his management agency YG to issue a statement to douse further speculation.

"After checking with the individual, we have learnt that this photo (of the bar visit) was taken at a questionable angle (making him seem like he was inhaling); furthermore, Seungri himself confirmed that he has never inhaled happy balloon. There is no way Seungri would inhale a drug at such a public establishment," it noted.

Yesterday, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said the 28-year-old singer had been questioned - and released after 81/2 hours - over reports of drug use and procuring prostitutes for potential foreign investors in his Burning Sun club.

According to The Korea Herald, when he turned up for the questioning at around 9pm on Wednesday, Seungri told reporters: "I apologise for causing trouble."

His fans received some good news later yesterday when his legal representatives said: "According to the police, there were no issues with the first round of drug tests and (he) tested negative."

But his upcoming shows in Osaka and Jakarta have been cancelled.

Meanwhile, a reporter of a Korean cable channel, which said it had discovered Kakao Talk messages between a Burning Sun staff and Seungri over provision of sex services to rich clients, refuted talk that the messages had been fabricated. The authorities reportedly have also not seen the textexchange evidence first-hand.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 01, 2019, with the headline 'Seungri denies more drug allegations hurled his way'. Print Edition | Subscribe