K-Pop star Seungri quit show business on March 11 amid snowballing allegations against him, including pimping and receiving illegal sex videos.
While this is the most damaging news to ever hit a member of BigBang, he is hardly the first to make headlines for bad behaviour.
With the exception of Taeyang, the five-member band, which debuted in 2006 and is easily one of the most successful in recent times, have been embroiled in scandals involving everything from drugs to car accidents.
The youngest member of Big Bang – Seungri, whose real name is Lee Seung-hyun – is now also the group’s biggest trouble-maker.
His troubles began in January when an employee of Burning Sun – a nightclub the singer ran – was accused of assaulting a customer.
The singer himself was later also accused of drug use, procuring sexual services for potential investors and being part of a group chat with other male celebrities in which illegal sex videos were shared.
He announced his shock retirement on March 11. His contract with YG Entertainment – the giant music label behind BigBang – has since been terminated.
This is not Seungri’s first brush with unsavoury news. In 2012, an unnamed woman leaked photos of him in bed to Japanese media. She reportedly had a one-night fling with Seungri and claimed that he enjoyed choking her in bed.
One of K-pop’s most iconic and wealthy idols, BigBang’s leader is no stranger to controversy.
In 2011, G-Dragon, whose real name is Kwon Ji-yong, admitted to smoking marijuana in Japan after a drug test result came back positive. He later claimed that he had mistakenly thought it was a regular cigarette.
The singer-songwriter, known for his large body of work, has also been accused of plagiarism several times.
In one instance, his 2009 album Heartbreaker’s title track was said to have ripped off Flo Rida’s Right Round. But the American rapper later appeared as a featured artiste in a new version of the song, released in 2010, quashing the rumours.
More recently, G-Dragon, who enlisted into the South Korean army in February last year, was accused of receiving special treatment.
He, a regular recruit, was reportedly housed in a private one-bed ward reserved for colonels while receiving treatment for an ankle injury, sparking outrage.
South Korea’s Ministry of National Defence later said the room could be used by any solider under special circumstances and G-Dragon was warded there to prevent a commotion at the hospital due to his fame.
The oldest member of the five was the first to enlist into the military in February 2017 as a conscripted police officer.
But the rapper, whose real name is Choi Seung-hyun, quickly got into trouble. He was indicted on drug charges in June that year relating to the use of marijuana. He wrote a handwritten letter of apology but that failed to quell public outrage.
He was allegedly ratted out by Han Seo-hee, a then 21-year-old female trainee singer who smoked marijuana with him. She reportedly taunted BigBang fans by posting a comment online: “Yes, I hugged and kissed your oppa (Korean for older brother).”
Soon after the news broke, T.O.P was rushed to the hospital due to an apparent drug overdose.
The rapper eventually received a suspended prison term, effectively escaping jail time.
He was dishonourably discharged from the police and has since been serving out his mandatory military service as a public service worker. He is due to be discharged in June this year.
Known as a devout Christian, Daesung has largely kept his personal life under the radar.
But the singer, whose real name is Kang Dae-sung, has one tragic blip in his past.
In the early hours of May 31, 2011, he was involved in a fatal car accident. He ran over a 30-year-old motorcyclist, who was pronounced dead on the scene. The police said Daesung was driving at 80kmh in a 60kmh zone at the time of the accident.
The singer was later acquitted of all charges.
Still, Daesung’s image was tarnished with members of the public branding him a murderer. He took a long break from show business after the incident.
Taeyang, known for his powerful vocals, has a remarkably clean image in contrast with his fellow band members.
Along with Daesung, Taeyang, whose real name is Dong Young-bae, is known to be an extremely devout Christian and he sports several faith-based tattoos.
And although the K-pop industry is infamous for being intolerant of relationships, his romance with actress Min Hyo-rin, said to be his first love, met with little resistance from fans.
The two, who began dating in 2013, tied the knot to much fanfare and media attention in February last year, weeks before Taeyang enlisted in the army.
The marriage was well-received and celebrated a rarity in K-pop, where high-profile relationships can often end careers and divide fans. – Jan LeeThe Straits Times/Asia News Network