SEOUL: A burgeoning K-pop sex scandal claimed a second scalp as a singer who rose to fame after coming second in one of South Korea's top talent shows admitted secretly filming himself having sex and sharing the footage.
Jung Joon-young, 30, announced his immediate retirement from show business amid allegations he shot and shared sexual imagery without his partners' consent.
"I admit to all my crimes," he said.
"I filmed women without their consent and shared it in a chatroom, and while I was doing so I didn't feel a great sense of guilt," he added in a statement released late Tuesday (Mar 12).
Jung was one of three male artists in a group chat room where some members shared secretly filmed footage of a sexual nature of at least 10 women, according to local broadcaster SBS.
K-pop singer Seungri, a hugely successful member of boy band BIGBANG who announced his retirement from show business on Monday amid a sex-for-investment criminal investigation, was also a member of the chatroom, the broadcaster said.
Meanwhile, management agencies have threatened legal action against those spreading false rumours about their artistes in relation to Jung Joon-young's sex videos.
"It's a groundless rumour," said SM Entertainment after a member of its top boy group EXO was named as one of the possible participants in the chat group where the sex videos were shared.
"We will take all legal measures against those who are found to have committed unlawful acts (of writing, uploading and spreading the rumours) without any mercy," said the agency as cited by Korean state media.
JYP Entertainment also denied rumours that members of its girl group Twice could have been among the women in the videos.
Management agencies of actresses Jung Yu-mi, Lee Chung-ah, Oh Yeon-seo and Oh Choi-hee also released similar statements denying the rumours on Wednesday, reported Yonhap.
K-pop stars generally cultivate clean-cut images - and are actively promoted by the South Korean government as a key cultural export - making the scandal even more shocking.
In 2016, Jung was charged with filming a video with a sexual partner without her consent and knowledge, but prosecutors dropped the case for lack of evidence after she withdrew her accusation.
Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency will question him later this week, an officer said.
Seungri - who has multiple business interests - was interviewed at the weekend over accusations he lobbied potential investors by offering them the services of prostitutes at nightclubs in Seoul's posh Gangnam district.
The 29-year-old is also linked to a police investigation into Burning Sun, a nightclub where he was a public relations director, where staff are alleged to have used hidden cameras to film women and used alcohol and drugs to sexually assault them.
South Korea has been battling a growing epidemic of so-called "molka" - spycam videos which largely involve men secretly filming women and sharing the illicit content with others.
"This case just shows that male K-pop stars are no exception when it comes to being part of this very disturbing reality that exploits women," women's rights activist Bae Bok-ju said.