11 Sex Scandals That Shocked The K-Pop World
1. Open World Entertainment sexual abuse scandal
In an abuse of power, the agency had a whole system of sexual abuse.
In 2012, the CEO of Open World Entertainment, Jang Seok Woo, was arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing female trainees and coercing male idols signed to his agency to do so as well.
Police interviewed over 20 people they believed to be victims. Through their reports, the police believed the sexual assaults happened in the company’s basement. As the investigation continued, they found evidence that Jang Seok Woo had drugged and raped the trainees since 2010. Police also found evidence that the CEO coerced some of the male idols to take part in the abuse.
At first, Jang Suk Woo denied all charges but has since admitted to committing some of the crimes. He was ultimately charged with drugging and sexually assaulting eleven female trainees, some of whom were minors at the time of the assault, and sentenced to six years in prison in 2013.
2. Park Shi Hoo‘s rape scandal
An aspiring actress accused the famous actor of raping her.
A few days after a night of drinking with rookie actor K and trainee A, Park Shi Hoo was accused of raping the 22-year old trainee A. The incident occurred in early 2013. As the story goes, K set up a meeting with Park Shi Hoo and the trainee. After the three went out for drinks, K drove Park Shi Hoo and A home. After arriving at the actor’s home, K carried A into his home and the two spent the night together. A few days later A made a report to the police that she was molested by K and raped by Park Shi Hoo. He was later called in for questioning and the story exploded in the news.
After denying the rape allegations Park Shi Hoo raised a case of defamation against A, but his acting career began to suffer from the accusations. He then stepped out of the spotlight until charges were dropped later that year. Even after he was cleared of all charges, Park Shi Hoo did not appear in any Korean productions until 2016. The accusations still haunted him and in 2017, he apologized to his fans for the incident during a press conference for My Golden Life.
3. Baek Ji Young‘s sex tape scandal
Her manager secretly taped her having sex and attempted to blackmail her with the footage.
Baek Ji Young may now be known as one of the most beloved ballad singers in Korea but for a part of her life, she was shamed by the public. Unbenknownst to Baek Ji Young, her manager filmed the singer having sex with him in 2000. While the tape sat in the manager’s possession for a while, he later threated her with it when she attempted to change managers. When she didn’t back down, he leaked the video. This led to a huge public uproar leading her to decide to step away from the stage for five years.
4. Uhm Tae Woong‘s prostitution and sexual assault scandal
This actor faced accusations of sexual assault, prostitution charges, and blackmail.
In August 2016, Uhm Tae Woong was accused of sexually assaulting a woman in a massage parlor. After police thoroughly investigated the claims, it was revealed the accuser and the massage parlor owner had fabricated the claims and stood on charges of filing false reports.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end of the story for Uhm Tae Woong. Police charged the actor with paying for sexual services in cash. Even after continuously denying these charges, the court found him guilty.
Later that year, the case would make a reappearance because of new evidence that pointed to the two women planning the whole situation in order to blackmail him. Both women were eventually found guilty and sentenced to 2 years in prison with a 5 year probation period and a 16 million won fine.
5. G.NA‘s prostitution scandal
Many people believed G.NA had given out sexual favors in exchange for a large sum of money.
In 2016, news broke of a famous female celebrity that was called in for investigations of prostitution. The artist was allegedly paid around 35,000,000 Won for her sexual relations with an American businessman. Later that year, netizens began to suspect the artist involved was G.NA due to some hints by a Korean news site.
After much speculation, G.NA stepped forward to admit that the articles were about her. Despite her admittance, she argued she was never aware of any money exchanges and emphasized their meeting was more like a blind date.
6. Former Roo’ra Ko Young Wook‘s sexual assault scandal
Ko Young Wook sexually assaulted three minors.
News broke in 2012, that former member of the popular 1990s band Roo’ra was being investigated for sexually harassing 3 minors. It all started a week prior to the news when an official complaint was made against Ko Young Wook.
The victim was an aspiring entertainer and accused him of rape. Soon after, local media received a tip that more than one child victim might be involved. When the police heard of this, they began a long investigation into Ko Young Wook. They soon found he had sexually assaulted three minors between 2010 and 2012.
After the case went to trial, Ko Young Wook was found guilty and sentenced to two years in prison for his crimes.
7. JYJ Yoochun‘s rape scandal
Four women accused the singer of raping them.
Back in 2016, a woman stepped forward claiming Yoochun had raped her in the bathroom of the bar she worked in. Her boyfriend even submitted her underwear and clothes to the police as evidence. Soon after, three more women stepped forward making their own claims against the singer. Each woman claimed that he had raped her in a bathroom.
Upon investigation, it was found that the first accuser had contacted Yoochun’s company asking for monetary compensation prior to filing the police report. She later admitted that the two had a consenting adult relationship. Yoochun was subsequently found innocent and the first accuser was sentenced to two years for making false accusations as well as attempted extortion. Unfortunately for the singer, there are still some who believe he is guilty.
8. Jang Ja Yeon‘s death scandal
The actress known for her role on Boys Over Flowers, rocked the country when her suicide note pointed to repeated sexual abuse.
While the news itself was shocking to South Korea, what was even more astonishing was her suicide note. The actress claimed that her agent Kim Sung Hoon had regularly beaten her and forced her to have sex with a number of CEOs and media executives.
Along with her suicide note, she also left a 7-page letter naming over 30 people she was forced to have sex with. Police investigated 20 of those listed which led to the formal prosecution of seven of them. As for Kim Sung Hoon, he was charged and sentenced to one year in jail, two years of probation, and 160 hours of community service.
9. Seo Ha Joon’s masturbating video scandal
He was caught up in speculations that he was the person in a leaked adult self-cam.
In late 2016, a 9-minute adult video leaked on the internet. In the video the man in question strips while facing the camera. After fully stripping, he begins to masturbate. Soon after the video was leaked, the video went viral. Netizens were quick to conclude that the male in the video was Seo Ha Joon based on the similarity of facial and body features and the presence of a necklace he always wore.
Netizens were even more convinced it was the actor when his Instagram account switched from public to private. Later that year, Seo Ha Joon admitted that it was indeed him in the video and has continued to stay out of the spotlight.
10. Jo Min Ki‘s #MeToo scandal
The veteran actor was accused of sexually harassing students at the university he taught at.
After the #MeToo movement took off in South Korea, Jo Min Ki was accused of sexually harassing and abusing students at Cheongju University where he taught drama since 2004. The first accusation came in on February 20, when an anonymous online post indicated the actor had sexually harassed several female students. The same day he was dismissed from his position.
The accusation was followed by a string of others which he denied. After 10 women had stepped forward claiming they were his victims, Jo Min Ki ultimately confessed to the harassment on February 27. An eleventh victim stepped forward soon after and police were going begin a formal investigation in March.
Just before he was due to be called in for questioning, Jo Min Ki was found dead in a suspected suicide.
11. Lee Youn Taek‘s sexual violence scandal
The Korean stage director was called out for sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and sexual violence.
This ongoing case came to light thanks to the #MeToo movement. Lee Youn Taek was accused earlier this year of sexually harassing and sexually assaulting female members of the now disbanded Yeonhee Street Theater Troupe.
The news first came up when a former actress belonging to the troop posted anonymously online that she was sexually abused her. She went on to say that if she tried to avoid him and his unwelcome advances he would beat her.
She also claimed the leader of the troupe, Kim So Hee, was aware of the abuse and even assisted Lee Youn Taek. Kim So Hee later denied these allegations and accused the woman of making up false stories because she decided to remain anonymous. In return, the woman revealed her identity.
The victim turned out to be Hong Seon Joo who worked with the troupe for 11 years. After Hong Seon Joo was revealed to be the victim, Kim So Hee made a public apology for what went on. Later more victims would step forward claiming Lee Youn Taek sexually harassed, abused, and used violence against them.
These allegations prompted Kim So Hee to shut the troupe down. Lee Youn Taek also finally admitted to harassing these women although he still denied that he ever used violence against them. Meanwhile, police have recently finished their investigation in the director and are waiting for a court date to be set.