‘Burning Sun‘, the club owned by Big Bang member Seungri, has found itself at the center of controversy recently, as a man has alleged (reported by MBC‘s ‘News Desk‘) that he was attacked by club security and then police officers last year after trying to help a woman who was being sexually harassed.
Mr. Kim, who claims to be the victim, was allegedly attacked by the security guards at the club but was arrested as the assailant. Previously, Mr. Kim posted on online community Bobaedream about the incident. He wrote, “On November 24 at Burning Sun, a woman who was being sexual harassed grabbed my shoulder and hid behind me. I asked a security guard for help, but I ended up getting beat up by the security guards and people who seemed like their friends.” He claimed that he was put in handcuffs and taken to the police station, where he was further assaulted by the police. To support his claims, he put up a photo of his bleeding face and another photo of him receiving medical treatment at the hospital.
Recently, CCTV footage of the alleged incident was revealed, and it certainly shows a man being assaulted.
Furthermore, the CEO of the club was allegedly involved in the attack.
In the newly revealed CCTV footage, several security guards drag Mr. Kim out of the club and make him fall on the ground. The club’s CEO Mr. Jang grabs the man by his hair, hits him in the face, drags him out into the road, and continues to beat him. The security guards grab onto Mr. Kim and help Mr. Jang assault him.
Mr. Kim stated, “One person took the lead in beating me and the security guards helped out. It was extremely shameful. I remember everyone was watching me.”
The injuries reportedly included three broken ribs, but when the police arrived following the altercation, the alleged victim claims they only took the club’s side of the story.
When Mr. Jang and the security guards returned to the club, Mr. Kim called the police and reported the incident. When the police arrived at the scene after 10 minutes, they spoke with a representative from the club and put handcuffs on Mr. Kim. According to Mr. Kim, the police did not attempt to search for Mr. Jang, look inside the club, or check the CCTV footage.
In the end, the club claimed that the alleged victim was involved in sexual harassment, while the police charged the alleged victim for obstruction of business. Investigations into the incidents are supposedly ongoing.
In a document explaining the reasons for Mr. Kim’s arrest, Mr. Kim was written as the assailant and Mr. Jang was written as the victim. When “News Desk” reached out to the club and police to hear their thoughts, a source from the club stated that Mr. Kim was charged for sexual harrassment, while the police stated that Mr. Kim was arrested for obstruction of business. In addition, the police said that they are investigating both assaults, including the allegations of Mr. Kim’s sexual harrassment inside the club. Later, Mr. Kim shared through social media, “The police has summoned me due to Mr. Jang’s accusation against me for defamation. Don’t make me come and go, you come to the court. I’m going to report you to the prosecution so let’s make clear who got defamed.”
So apparently defamation charges are involved in this as well.
Also, video of an altercation involving the alleged victim and police has emerged, leading to questions about the violent conduct of authorities.
In response to the ‘News Desk’ report, the Seoul Metropolitan Police released an official statement.
On January 29, Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency stated through an official press release, “At the time of our arrival, Mr. Kim was overly emotional and refused to reveal his personal information. We were attempting to verify the report that he had assaulted the security guards and caused a disturbance, but Mr. Kim continued to cause a commotion, which is why he was arrested for business obstruction, among other reasons.” They also stated, “We have secured evidence such as CCTV footages of the surrounding areas and are currently in the process of looking into them. We have also called Mr. Jang in for an investigation. Several cases are being investigated simultaneously, including the statement from a representative of the club and their countercharge against Mr. Kim. Mr. Kim is currently refusing to come in for an investigation.” They concluded with the words, “We will engage in the investigation carefully and meticulously to ensure that no one is falsely accused.”
Okay, so the assault accusations are serious, especially given the video makes it obvious that the level of force being used by club security was excessive regardless of reasoning.
As far as what culpability Seungri has for this, it’s hard to say. Morally it depends on the amount of knowledge he had of it, but legally it’s likely something he’ll have to take responsibility for on some level. Regardless, he should address the incident since it occurred at his club.
But still, in the big picture, an assault case at a club is not exactly super weird in itself. Where things get dicey however is in allegations accusing the club of drugging and sexually assaulting women, and also claiming that they are having police covering this all up.
But other than a nine-second video showing a woman being dragged through a hallway by a man, which certainly could be evidence of further wrongdoing on the part of the club (but also could be any number of things), there isn’t yet anything credible to corroborate the more serious accusations. So while all of this could certainly turn out to be true, I think it’s reasonable to not just take people’s word for it for now.
Anyway, that’s what’s going on with what is already a massive scandal, and if anything else happens I’ll be sure to update.