Eddy Kim’s agency has released an official statement regarding his involvement in a group chatroom that included Jung Joon Young and seven other singers.
On April 4, MBC’s “Newsdesk” reported that Eddy Kim was a member of a group chatroom in which Jung Joon Young had shared illegally filmed footage of sexual activity.
Later that day, Mystic Entertainment responded by confirming that Eddy Kim had been a member of the chatroom in question and had already been called in for questioning by the police. However, the agency denied Eddy Kim’s involvement in the filming or spreading of any illegal footage.
The agency’s full statement is as follows:
Hello, this is Mystic Entertainment.
We are informing you of our position on the report made by MBC’s “Newsdesk” about Eddy Kim on April 4.
On March 31, Eddy Kim went to the police station, where he underwent questioning for approximately two hours.
While it is true that Eddy Kim was a member of the group chatroom, it has been confirmed that he did not film or spread any illegal footage, such as hidden-camera videos. However, he was investigated [by the police] because it came to light that he had posted one sexual photo [in the group chatroom] that had been floating around on the internet.
Eddy Kim has become deeply aware of the gravity of this matter, and he is reflecting very seriously [on his behavior]. We sincerely apologize for giving you cause for concern.
Broadcast companies prepare for possibility of removing Roy Kim footage
With Roy Kim’s status change from a witness to a suspect, the broadcasting industry is concerned about the potential aftermath.
In Jung Joon Young’s case, once he was booked for sexual assault and sharing illegally filmed footage, KBS and other broadcasting companies had to remove him from all shows he had featured in, including “2 Days & 1 Night.”
Additionally, broadcasting companies had to eliminate several VOD streaming services of shows that Jung Joon Young featured in. JTBC cancelled VOD streaming services of “Hitmaker,” “Old House, New House,” and “Ask Us Anything.” MBC terminated streaming services of the episode of “Radio Star” where Jung Joon Young’s “golden phone” was mentioned. tvN went through an arduous amount of work to remove Jung Joon Young’s footage from “Salty Tour” episodes. KBS took the hardest hit with “2 Days & 1 Night,” as they had to cancel all VOD streaming services and are at risk of terminating the program altogether.
On April 4, a source from the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency revealed, “We booked and notified Roy Kim that he will be investigated on charges of spreading illegally taken footage.” They added that Roy Kim was originally a witness but will now be booked and investigated as a suspect.
The broadcasting industry is carefully looking out for any new updates that may arise regarding this case. From the broadcasting companies’ perspective, there are too many factors to consider to just decide to terminate VOD (video-on-demand) streaming services, and it may be too premature at this point to make any final decisions, since Roy Kim’s charges have not been proven yet. All broadcasting companies are in agreement that there is nothing more to be done at this point than to watch and see what unfolds.
On April 4, a source from Mnet stated, “Nothing is confirmed yet regarding the removal of any VOD (video-on-demand) shows Roy Kim has featured in. Since he has not yet been investigated by the police, we are currently waiting for further changes to the situation. We will be discussing this matter in accordance with police investigations.”
A source from tvN offered a similar statement to Mnet, and a source from JTBC also stated, “We are watching how the situation progresses,” and added that nothing is confirmed with regard to what to do with shows featuring Roy Kim, such as “Begin Again 2.”
Likewise, a source from SBS revealed, “Nothing is confirmed with regard to the cancellation of VOD streaming services of episodes featuring Roy Kim and Jung Joon Young in ‘Law of the Jungle.’ We are observing the progression of the situation.”
Previously on April 3, Roy Kim’s agency Stone Music Entertainment shared, “Roy Kim is currently pursuing his studies in the United States and is adjusting his schedule to return to Korea for questioning as soon as possible. Furthermore, he will diligently participate in the necessary questioning.”
2 actors reported to be in group chat similar to Jung Joon Young's
SBS’s “8 O’Clock News” has reported that two movie stars may be members of a group chatroom similar to the one for which Jung Joon Young, Seungri, Choi Jong Hoon, and Roy Kim are currently being investigated.
On April 4, SBS reported that an anonymous victim, “A,” had come forward with information about another group chatroom in which illegally filmed footage of sexual activity had been shared. “A” claimed that she had accidentally stumbled upon both the illegal footage and the chatroom while she was dating a businessman named Kim in 2016.
According to “A,” during her relationship with Kim, she discovered a sex tape that he had filmed of her without her knowledge or consent on his external hard drive. “A” also reportedly found more than 100 similar videos on the same hard drive, with most of the women in the videos appearing too inebriated to be aware of their surroundings or the fact that they were being filmed.
“A” alleged that she also discovered proof of two different group chatrooms in which Kim shared such illegally filmed footage of sexual activity. According to the report, one group chatroom included two movie actors named only by their surnames Shin and Han, as well as a model named Jung. The other group chatroom is said to include an MD (a “merchandiser” or club promoter) who worked at Club Arena.
According to SBS, the two actors initially denied any knowledge of such a chatroom, with both Shin and Han claiming that they had never even been in a group chatroom. However, after hearing the names of the others who were alleged to be in the group chatroom in question, they reportedly revised their statements, saying that although it was true that they had been in the chatroom, they had never filmed or shared any illegal footage.
Seungri receives police questioning for suspicions of destroying evidence
Seungri has been questioned by the police for an additional suspicion.
The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency’s provincial special detective division summoned Seungri for questioning on the morning of April 4.
The police stated that after messages from a group chat were revealed on February 26, Seungri told the members of the chatroom to get new phones.
Destruction of evidence was first suspected last month when the police collected the cell phones of the chatroom members and most of them, including Seungri, Choi Jong Hoon, and Jung Joon Young, submitted new phones. There was only one chatroom member who did not submit a new phone.
When Choi Jong Hoon was asked why he suddenly changed his phone, he responded, “Seungri told me to change my cell phone.” Jung Joon Young and other individuals also shared the same reason.
From what was gathered by the police from the questioning of the chatroom members, Seungri contacted them and said, “I don’t remember at all what I said in 2015. Do you still have old cell phones or records?” When they all responded that they do not have the KakaoTalk records as they are from over three years ago, Seungri commented, “A mandatory investigation could happen, so change the cell phone you are currently using.”
According to legal expert Joo Young Geul, it may be difficult for Seungri to receive punishment for the destruction of evidence if it is found that the chatroom members got rid of their phones to protect themselves rather than to cover up Seungri’s charges.
If booked however, Seungri will have been booked for a total of five charges including prostitution mediation, violation of food sanitation law, spreading illegal footage, and embezzlement.
Eddy Kim becomes 8th person booked in relation to chatrooms with Jung Joon Young
On April 5, a police source revealed that Eddy Kim has been booked for charges of spreading illegally taken footage. This means that his status has been changed from a witness to that of a suspect.
This news comes after it was revealed that he had been questioned by the police about the group chatroom as a witness. While the questioning occurred on March 31, his agency confirmed this news on April 4. In their statement, his agency denied that Eddy Kim filmed and spread any illegal footage. However, the agency admitted that Eddy Kim was questioned due to him posting a sexual photo in the chatroom.
Including Eddy Kim, eight individuals have been booked for charges of spreading illegally taken footage out of 16 individuals who participated in the 23 chatrooms related to Jung Joon Young. Eddy Kim is also the fifth celebrity to be booked for these charges following Jung Joon Young, Seungri, Choi Jong Hoon, and Roy Kim.
Eddy Kim's performance at Green Plugged Seoul 2019 cancelled following chatroom reports
Eddy Kim will not be performing at “Green Plugged Seoul 2019.”
On April 5, the organization committee of music festival Green Plugged Seoul took to their official Facebook page and revealed, “We acknowledge the gravity and severity of the ongoing controversy and decided to cancel the appearance of Eddy Kim [in the upcoming event]. We also confirmed with [Eddy Kim’s] agency Mystic Entertainment regarding this matter.”
The additional lineup in result of this will be revealed on April 15 with the final lineup poster. The committee added, “We will quickly take necessary measures for the festival to take place smoothly in the future, and we will do our best to give back to audience with great performances.”
On April 4, MBC’s “Newsdesk” reported that Eddy Kim was a member of a group chatroom in which Jung Joon Young shared illegally filmed footage of sexual activity. In response, Mystic Entertainment confirmed the singer’s participation in the chatroom, but they denied that the singer filmed or spread any illegal footage. The agency also stated that the singer was questioned by the police as a witness regarding one sexual photo he posted in the group chatroom.
The following day, a source from the police revealed that Eddy Kim has been booked for charges of violating the Act on Promotion of Information and Communications Network Utilization and Information Protection, etc by spreading illegally taken footage.
Eddy Kim is the fifth celebrity to be booked for the same charges following Jung Joon Young, Seungri, Choi Jong Hoon, and Roy Kim.
Sources: Naver (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), Nate (1, 2) via Soompi (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)