K-pop singer Roy Kim is the latest South Korean musician to be swept into the growing scandal involving allegations of sexual misconduct.
According to the English-language Korean Herald, Kim was booked by the Seoul Metropolitan police agency on Thursday (April 4) and charged with sharing an obscene photo in a group chat.
The arrest came two weeks after fellow K-pop singer Jung Joon-Young was arrested over allegations that he illegally shared sexually explicit videos of women taken without their knowledge or consent.
Kim’s arrest came after Jung was questioned by police about allegations that he secretly filmed his sexual encounters and shared them in a private group chat with his friends.
Police are also investigating another K-pop star, Seungri, who soared to international stardom as a member of the group Big Bang, over suspicions that he attempted to arrange unlawful sexual services for his business investors.
Seoul police reportedly said they asked Kim who currently attends Georgetown University, where he is studying sociology to appear for a police investigation after they found the alleged obscene photo in a group chat room used by Jung and others; at press time police had not confirmed if Kim, 25, had taken the photo in question.
Kim rose to prominence in 2012 after winning the fourth season of the Superstar K singing competition, where he befriended fellow contestant Jung; in addition to Jung, police have also arrested another member of the chat, a former employee of Burning Sun, a club owned by Seungri.
To date, the bulk of the evidence in the spreading scandal stems from leaked chat rooms from Korean app KakaoTalk. A technician reportedly discovered multiple chats on Jung Joon-young’s phone after the singer sent it in for repairs.
But the scandal revolves around a core chat that involved eight members: Seungri, Jung, FTISLAND’s Choi Jonghoon, YG Entertainment founder Yoo In Suk, a Burning Sun employee named Mr. Kim, a relative of a girl group member, a former YG Entertainment employee and a friend of Jung.
A spokesperson for Kim could not be reached for comment at press time. According to E! News, two days before his arrest, Kim’s agency, Stone Music Entertainment, released a statement that read, “Roy Kim is currently studying in the United States, and is arranging his schedules so that he can fly back to Korea as soon as possible for the investigations.”
The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency requested an arrest warrant for Jung on Monday through state prosecutors.
The scandal has caused an uproar in South Korea, where women are increasingly speaking out against what they describe as a culture of misogyny with the rampant spread of intimate photos and videos taken by hidden cameras, which they say have women living in constant anxiety and distress.