Following Yong Junhyun‘s denial of involvement in the group chat and explanation of his interaction with Jung Joon Young, there have been a slew of celebrities who have been connected to the allegations against both Jung Joon Young and Seungri. Most of them have made comments that are rather predictable, and I’m going to try to stick to those who are accused of being linked to chats with either of the two.
Starting on a positive note, the SBS reporter who published the story about the group chats has cleared Lee Hongki against allegations that he was involved.
In the reports from SBS, it was shown that a singer “Lee” said in response to Jung Joon Young sending hidden camera footage, “Enjoy it while you can.” Some netizens then questioned whether FTISLAND’s Lee Hong Ki is the singer “Lee.” However, reporter Kang Kyung Yoon, who published the initial reports regarding the chatrooms, clarified on March 12 that “Lee” is not Lee Hong Ki but a member of a different group. Lee Hong Ki also personally reassured his fans in an open group chat, writing, “I slept and woke up to chaos. Don’t worry.”
Well, that’s good.
And that’s about where that sentiment ends.
On March 12, a person known as “H” participated in a phone call interview with media outlet kstarnews. According to the outlet, “H” argued that he does not remember anything about the chatroom and that the ongoing controversy does not involve him. He further claimed, “When I was being investigated as a witness yesterday (on March 11), I told [the police] that I do not remember anything.” When asked if the members of the chatroom filmed and exchanged hidden camera videos, he answered, “I don’t think we did. I don’t even remember who was in the chatroom.” The media outlet followed the question by asking him if he thinks the situation is unfair, but “H” did not respond.
This never made any sense, but it especially doesn’t make sense now.
Speaking of that person, it was rumored that it was model Heo Hyun, but his agency Agency Garten issued a denial.
Hello This is Agency Garten. Garten model Heo Hyun has been under suspicion of being included in a controversial KakaoTalk chatroom with celebrities. However, Garten’s Heo Hyun only has the same name and is not acquainted at all. He has no relation to this matter. In addition, we will take strong legal action on cases of malicious posts and comments causing defamation and harm, so please take caution.
Also accused of being involved in the group chats is the older brother of SNSD‘s Yuri, Kwon Hyuk Joon, and his response to comments on Instagram are quite vague.
On March 12, he replied to various comments via Instagram. To one comment calling him out, Kwon Hyuk Joon wrote, “Hello to you who is hiding under the shadow of anonymity. I am diligently cooperating with all investigations, and I don’t think you have a right to judge whether or not I can hold my head up with a committed crime.” He added that he was only included in a work-related KakaoTalk room when starting up Milddang Pocha (romanization), an outdoor establishment run by Seungri, Jung Joon Young, and other friends. He continued, “I do not know anything about the sexual escort services or what is being mentioned in the news.” In response to another comment, he replied, “Such a long amount of time has passed, and I am very worried as it has become this big issue now. I hope this will not affect my family.” He shared in a reply to a third commented, “I am so apologetic to fans of Yuri. I just considered it as a matter from so long ago and was living in ease. I will reflect on myself more.”
Guess we’ll see, but it certainly doesn’t seem to bode well that he’s admitted to being investigated and that he admits to being in a group chat, just that it didn’t involve the hidden cameras and all that.
Meanwhile, after a ton of speculation that FT Island‘s Choi Jong Hoon and CNBLUE‘s Lee Jong Hyun were a part of the chats, FNC Entertainment finally issued a response, denying their involvement.
We clearly state that Lee Jong Hyun and Choi Jong Hoon, who are artists at our agency, have no relation to this incident. Their relationships with the controversial celebrities are only as acquaintances who were in contact with each other. Choi Jong Hoon recently received a request for cooperation in the police’s investigation, and so he only attended as a reference. We wish to make clear that he was not being investigated nor considered a suspect. Choi Jong Hoon has already completed the police’s investigation, and the tentative conclusion is that he has no particular connection to allegations such as sexual services. Also, Lee Jong Hyun and Jung Joon Young’s relationship is just that of two people who were in contact a long time ago, and he is not connected to this incident. We hope that you will refrain from unnecessary misunderstandings or speculative reports. In addition, we will be be taking strong legal action against malicious rumors spreading online about our artists.
Not sure one can read that and think it doesn’t come off awful technical and lawyer-y in terms of a denial. Wait and see but Choi Jong Hoon was connected to a #MeToo case earlier that went unaddressed.
Meanwhile, Zico has come back under fire following a ‘Radio Star‘ appearance circulating again in which he joked about Jung Joon Young’s ‘Golden Phone’, but he denied knowing or being involved in the group chat.
The phone-related anecdote that I mentioned on a television program has no relation whatsoever to this current unpleasant matter. All that I saw on the phone in question was the contact information of [his] acquaintances, and it has been a long time since we fell out of touch. Please refrain from making hasty speculations, and I will be taking firm action in response to any malicious comments or the spreading of false rumors.
It doesn’t seem like a stretch to be skeptical that he was so excited about the phone and wanted to look through it cause it had a lot of numbers in it. Perhaps they were playing up a joke cause it’s a variety show, but I mean it’s definitely fair to have questions.
So those are basically their official statements in response to being linked to the Jung Joon Young and Seungri group chats, and it’s amazing how suddenly none of them know much about anything.
Only Lee Hongki has come away from this cleared right now, as the rest are basically in wait and see mode.