Fans call for Lee Jong-hyun's exit from CNBLUE after his involvement in K-pop sex scandal

Fans call for Lee Jong-hyun's exit from CNBLUE after his involvement in K-pop sex scandal

CNBLUE Lee Jonghyun
Lee Jong-hyun is the fifth K-pop star to admit his involvement in the sex video scandal. (Photo: Facebook/CNBLUE)

SEOUL: K-pop fans on Friday (Mar 15) called for Lee Jong-hyun's exit from boyband CNBLUE, after the 28-year-old admitted to being involved in the widening scandal in South Korea surrounding illegal sex videos. 

"Lee Jong-hyun is (admitting) that he deserves criticism for watching videos on KakaoTalk, disparaging women and making improper conversation about sex," said his management agency FNC Entertainment, as cited by Korean state media. 

"If he had a correct sense of sexual awareness, he might have not turned a blind eye to (the inappropriateness of the sex videos), so he is repenting for doing so," the company said. 

"(We) apologise for those who were hurt by the immoral and promiscuous conversations he had without a sense of guilt."

Yonhap reported that the agency also defended its earlier denial, saying it was difficult to verify long-forgotten facts. All posts were removed from Lee's social media accounts on Friday. 

The scandal has been unravelling since investigations began against BIGBANG member Seungri over allegations of sex bribery. A local report revealed that Seungri had been in a chat group on messaging app KakaoTalk, in which sex videos were being exchanged. 

READ: It's not me - South Korean female stars rush to deny K-pop sex videos

Singer and variety show star Jung Joon-young later admitted to secretly taking videos of women he had sex with, and sharing them on the app. 

Both singers, along with two other K-pop stars Yong Jun-hyung and Choi Jong-hoon, have either retired from showbiz or left their groups amid the scandal.

Yong, 29, left the group Highlight, formerly known as Beast, while Choi, the 29-year-old leader of boyband FT Island, announced his retirement as he prepared to enter police questioning. 

"We strongly demand expulsion, not suspension ... We cannot accept or buy Lee Jong-hyun's music career when most of the fandom consists of women..." read a joint statement issued by CNBLUE fans, as cited by Yonhap. 

There has been widespread online speculation on the victim's identities. At least four women have issued separate statements denying they appear in the videos.

Source: CNA/AFP/hs