Article: Top 10 Korean Celebrities Who Went Behind Bars

The terms celebrity and scandal are not too far from each other. Celebrity lives have always been the center of gossip. We, people, entwine ourselves to the lives of these celebrities that what they do, or what happens to them becomes our business. Sometimes we hate them for no reason, sometimes we try and find justifiable reasons for their actions because we love them too much.

But what happens when these celebrities get themselves tangled with the wrong side of the law. It is shocking and even heart-breaking to see your beloved celebrities behind bars.

Here is the list of top 10 Korean celebrities, whose actions led them to take a trip behind bars.

1. Jung Joon Young

The South Korean singer and songwriter, Jung Joon Young caught himself in the middle of a prostitution scandal and was accused of posting explicit images and videos of women, without their consent, in a private kakaotalk chatroom, back in 2019. The group chat consisted of singer Jung Joon-young, Seungri, Lee Jong Hyun, Choi Jong Hoon, and Yoo In Suk.

According to accusations, Jung Joon Young used to record and share hidden camera video recordings of him with girls, without the girl’s knowledge. Around 10 of his victims came forward with evidence against the singer and in 2019, he was sentenced to six years in prison under the charges of non-consensual recording and sharing explicit videos and gang rape. Following the scandal, his agency ‘MAKEUS Entertainment’ also terminated his contract.

However, in 2020, his sentence got reduced to 5 years as he showed remorse for his actions.


2. Seungri

One of the biggest scandals to ever hit K-pop, ‘The Burning Sun’ scandal led to the downfall of Seungri, a member of Big Bang and one of the most renowned names among idols. Being one of the directors of The Burning Sun club, situated in Seoul, it became the hub of his potential sex scandal. He was accused of buying sex for potential clientele and foreign investors. This scandal also led to the surfacing of the kakaotalk group chat scandal involving other K-pop artists as well.

He was charged with prostitution, gambling, illegal money transactions, and violating drug laws and was sentenced to a term of 3 years in prison and a fine of 1.15 billion won leading to the termination of his contract with YG Entertainment and retiring from the K-pop group, Big Bang.

However, in January 2022, his sentence was reduced to 1.5 years in prison under his claims of being remorseful of his crimes.


3. Choi Jong Hoon

The former leader and guitarist of the K-pop band F.T. Island, was one of the K-pop idols included in the kakaotalk chatroom wherein Jung Joon Young used to share the supposed sex tapes of women that were recorded without their consent and even talked about allegedly drugging and raping women in the chatroom.

He admitted to sharing and taping videos of his own but denies all rape accusations stating that sex was consensual. He retired from the entertainment industry and left the band. He was finally sentenced to two and a half years in prison as against the former term of five years.


4. Kang Ji Hwan

Famous T.V actor, Kang Ji Hwan, was accused of sexual assault and rape by two female employees of his agency, back in 2019. It all happened when the two employees were invited to his home after a company dinner.

At first, he denied all charges as he stated that he was allegedly under the influence of alcohol and did not remember any interactions with the said females. But later admitted to his mistake and apologized to the victims. His agency, Jellyfish Entertainment, terminated his contract he was sentenced to two years and six months in prison.


5. Kangin

The former member of the popular boyband Super Junior, Kangin, has been charged with several offenses over the years. In September 2009, he was accused of getting into a fight outside of a bar in Seoul under the influence of alcohol where he was accused of and a month after that in October, he was arrested for a hit-and-run case and crashed his car into a nearby taxi, drunk.

Once again, on 24th May 2016, he was involved in another hit-and-run case but turned himself in. His agency, SM Entertainment, then cancelled all of his activities for a year. A year later in 2017, he was reported for assaulting a woman outside of a bar in Seoul, but the woman claimed to be his girlfriend so no charges were pressed against him. Finally, in the year 2019, he left Super Junior but continued his contract with SM Entertainment.


6. T.O.P

Laws against selling and consuming drugs are very strict in South Korea. The use of drugs by Korean citizens in Korea or outside Korea is strictly prohibited and is a chargeable offense. T.O.P, a member of the K-pop band Big Bang, received a hard blow to his reputation in June 2017, after he was announced to be persecuted for smoking marijuana back in 2016 and just a few days after this announcement he was found unconscious due to drug overdose on prescription pills. He was sentenced to 10 months in prison following his trial.


7. Psy

The world-renowned artist known for his hit song, Gangnam Style, Psy was arrested for possessing and consuming marijuana back in the year 2001. He was sentenced to 25 days in jail and later after release was fined for the same in January 2002. His jail term led him to not being able to attend his grandfather’s funeral for which he was very heartbroken and regretted his actions.


8. Kang Sung Hoon

Former member of the famous 90’s boyband Sechs Kies, which was revived by YG Entertainment in 2016, Kang Sung Hoon was sentenced to 2 years and six months back in the year 2013 for committing fraud.

He had borrowed around $850,000 from 3 different people and did not pay them back. He has a multitude of fraud charges against him. In 2019 he was in news for embezzling funds of his fan café because of this he had to leave the boyband.


9. Park Yoo Chun

A former member of the popular boy band TVXQ, Park Yoo Chun was arrested in 2019 for consumption of drugs. He was arrested in April 2019 after he was tested positive for consuming ‘Philopon’ otherwise known as the Japanese Methamphematine. In July 2019, he was finally sentenced to a term of ten months in prison, 2 years of probation, and a fine of 1.4 million won.


10. Dahee And Lina

Alas, it is not always the male celebrities that find themselves tangled in scandals leading to their arrests. Dahee (left), a member of the former girl group under ‘BigHit’ or now the Hybe Entertainment, and model Lee Jiyeon (middle) were charged with blackmailing famous actor Lee Byung Hun (right).

Back in 2014, Dahee and Lee Jiyeon blackmailed the actor, Lee Byung Hun for wanting 5 million won for not releasing a video of the actor making lewd comments to the two women while drunk. Lee Jiyeon claimed to be in a relationship with actor Lee Byung Hun and wanted to take revenge for breaking up with her. So, she devised a plan with her friend Dahee and recorded a video of the actor. But later the claims of them being in a relationship were refuted and Dahee got sentenced to one year in prison, leading to the disbandment of the girl group, Glamm, and Lee Jiyeon got sentenced to one year and two months in prison.