K-pop girl group 2NE1’s Park Bom shed tears after hearing the news Monday that she was allegedly caught smuggling illegal drugs into Korea but set free four years ago.
Yang Hyun-suk, CEO of Korea’s top K-pop agency YG Entertainment, made a statement Tuesday to explain Park’s alleged drug smuggling.
|Park Bom crying on TV show "Roomate" (SBS)|
“I have been with 2NE1 for nine years. 2NE1 members do not smoke, drink alcohol or go to clubs except when invited to official events. I don’t know how to react to this absurd news report,” he added.
Yang then made it clear that the drugs in question were not illegally obtained, but officially prescribed by doctors.
“Park was traumatized after she witnessed her close friend die in an accident when she was young. Since then, she has received medical treatment and counselling to overcome shock and grief,” Yang said, explaining why Park was caught with the drug at the time.
Yang also said that Park was not aware that the drug had been banned in Korea. “Park realized that taking the drug was outlawed in Korea while being investigated by the police, so she replaced it with another drug,” he said.
Earlier on Monday, a Korean daily reported that Park had attempted to smuggle 82 amphetamine pills from the U.S. into Korea back in October 2010 via international mail, citing the Ministry of Justice.
She was caught by customs agents at the Incheon International Airport and the case was referred to the prosecution. But prosecutors suspended the drug-related case without further investigation.
Amphetamine is a stimulant that speeds up the function of the brain and is often used for medical uses. In Korea, however, the drug is banned, even for medical treatment, as it can cause serious physical harm when abused.
The Korean news outlet raised suspicions over why the idol was set free without being charged for the attempted drug smuggling and whether her celebrity status was a factor.
By Ock Hyun-ju (firstname.lastname@example.org)