K-pop singer Roy Kim returned to Korea on Tuesday morning to be investigated on suspicions he distributed lewd photos.
The Korean singer arrived at Incheon Airport at around 4:30 a.m., and was expected to be questioned by police. Kim’s agency told local media that he is currently seeking an attorney.
The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency recently announced that Kim had uploaded lewd photos to a mobile messenger chat room that also included fellow musicians Seungri, formerly of Big Bang, Jung Joon-young and Choi Jong-hoon, formerly of FT Island.
Roy Kim (Yonhap)
The other artists are being investigated for distributing sex videos taken without consent, with Jung placed under arrest.
Police are expected to probe whether Kim had taken images he uploaded.
Korean law bans the distribution of pornography, punishable by up to a year in prison or fine of 10 million won ($8,750). It also punishes the distribution of images of body parts taken without consent with up to three years in prison or a fine of 5 million won.
Kim’s reputation has been severely tarnished by the allegation. He had enjoyed popularity, particular among female fans, for his “gentlemanly” and wholesome image.
Kim’s fans at the Roy Kim Gallery on the DC Inside website -- a de facto fan page -- have released a statement bashing the star and demanding that his agency Stone Music Entertainment oust the singer.
“We’ve supported Roy Kim since 2012, when the gallery was first created. Yet having learned that he is suspected of distributing pornography, we cannot help but feel miserable and are releasing this statement,” they wrote. “While the truth will be revealed during the investigation, the public perception of sexual crime and the fact that we are mostly women prohibit us from accepting him or consuming his content anymore.”
Kim, 25, started his musical career in 2012 by winning TV talent show “Superstar K4.” During the show, he developed a well-publicized friendship with Jung Joon-young, who finished third in the competition. His win at the talent show was followed by an official debut with studio album “Love Love Love” the next year.
By Yoon Min-sik