MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Big Bang's Seungri announced on Monday, March 11 that he was retiring from the entertainment industry. He entered the industry over 10 years ago.
The announcement comes after the singer was embroiled in a controversy in February, when police said they were investigating Seungri and his night club Burning Sun for allegedly offering prostitutes to investors. (READ: Seoul police launch probe into prostitution claims involving Big Bang’s Seungri)
"At this moment, it seems like it would be good for me to retire from the entertainment industry. I've decided to retire from the entertainment industry because of the huge social controversy that has arisen. I am under investigation, and I will receive investigation with sincerity so that the building suspicions can be revealed.
"During the past month and a half, I have received criticism and hate from the public and been in a situation where every investigative agency in this country is investigating me. I just cannot accept causing pain to those around me just for my sake."
"I would like to sincerely thank all of the fans both in and out of Korea who have shown me love for the past ten years. For the sake and honor of Big Bang and YG, [my career is] ending here.
"I would like to apologize one more time."
View this post on Instagram A post shared by @seungriseyo on Mar 11, 2019 at 1:39am PDT
Seungri rose to fame as part of Big Bang, one of the most popular K-pop groups yet. But the members have been in the limelight the past years for misconduct.
Rapper T.O.P received a suspended jail sentence in 2017 for smoking marijuana multiple times after he was hospitalized for a drug overdose.
Band leader G-Dragon was also investigated for smoking marijuana in 2011, although he was released without indictment.
The group went on hiatus to pursue solo projects and fulfill mandatory military service in Korea.
Many fans have already turned their backs on him and signed a petition last week urging Seungri's expulsion from BIGBANG, saying he had caused "unrecoverable damage to the group's reputation".
"I'm so embarrassed at myself for being your fan for the last 10 years," a user responded to Seungri's Instagram post.
Another user added: "He was my favorite among all BIGBANG members but he must be punished for what he has done wrong." –with a report from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com