In what was ostensibly an attempt to give his side of the story and defend his friend Seungri, Burning Sun CEO Lee Moon Ho gave a 20-minute phone interview to the Kyunghyang Shinmun that didn’t do a whole lot to help himself or Seungri.
Setting the stage for the interview, things already aren’t looking great for him, as it’s revealed he’s being investigated by the Narcotics Unit, Cybercrime Investigation Unit, and Provincial Special Detective Division of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency. In the process of the investigation so far, he’s had five witness interviews and became a suspect when a drug test came back positive. Uhhh … so yeah.
Anyway, he starts things off by saying he has never been investigated for drugs in the past, and even though he pissed hot this time, that was only cause it was one drug or something.
Regarding rumors that he had been investigated by the police in the past for injecting illegal drugs, he stated that they were false. The CEO said, “It was the first time in the 30 years of my life that I was questioned by the police for illegal drugs. There are various types of drugs. They say there are about six to eight different types of drugs that are distributed in Korea, and I was only tested positive for one of them. The results even said I had taken the drug in the last two months. My hair is about 15 centimeters long, and with this length, you can detect drugs that were taken one or two years ago. But there weren’t any drug-related substances [at the ends of my hair]. My testing positive also has room for debate.”
I’m not sure if “but it was only one drug and not eight” is the best of defense, but alrighty.
As far as any connection with Arena, he describes his past with them, how Burning Sun came to be, and how Seungri got involved.
He explained his connection with Club Arena, saying, “Arena was created because of me. I was the general director, and President Kang supported me. I set up the general direction of Arena. At the time, I was also a sales representative at Arena and met Seungri there. I drew the plans for [Burning Sun] in order to become independent from Arena. Seungri is my friend, so I made the general plans for Burning Sun and asked him to join me. I own 10 percent of Burning Sun, and Seungri owns 20 percent. 50 percent (42 percent according to The Kyunghyang Shinmun) is owned by Cheonwon Industry.”
He then segues into his defense of all this mess, saying that the Seungri stuff went down at Arena not Burning Sun, and defending Seungri by saying if what he did is a crime then all Korean men are criminals.
He continued, “Aren’t all of these suspicions related to Seungri about things that happened at Arena, not Burning Sun? I’m not the CEO of Arena. And if Seungri’s KakaoTalk messages from three years ago are a crime, aren’t all Korean men criminals? They were just joking, and it’s not like actual prostitution took place, [so do they deserve so much criticism?] And how would I be aware of the things that happened in 2015? I wasn’t even in the chatroom with Seungri that’s being discussed recently.”
Okay, so he denies the prostitution took place in one line but then says he wasn’t aware of what happened during that time in the very next line.
Also, I’m skeptical of the #YesAllKoreanMen defense of Seungri’s alleged crimes, but alrighty.
Of course, the problem with his clarification about not being in charge at Arena is that the far more serious allegations are leveled at Burning Sun. In particular, the systematic supplying of drugged and inebriated women to VIPs for sex. Well don’t worry, he addressed that as well.
He also defended himself against the rumors about women being drugged with gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and raped in Burning Sun. He said, “[If there are such victims], why are they not reporting to the police and only telling the press? If they file a lawsuit in the current situation, the perpetrator will be locked up, they’ll be compensated, and all legal punishments will be made, so why aren’t they suing?” He continued saying, “Is there anyone saying they were investigated by the police as victims of rape? On the contrary, I caught the person who started the rumors that women were being raped with GHB [in Burning Sun] and turned them in to the police’s Cybercrime Investigation Unit. The lieutenant even thanked me. I’m actively cooperating with the police. These unconfirmed reports are too much. I wasn’t there when the Burning Sun assault happened, the results of my drug tests are questionable, and besides that, I have nothing else to be indicted for. And honestly, do you think drugs only circulate in Burning Sun?”
Okay, so his defense is questioning why victims don’t want to come forward while the identities of the victims of Jung Joon Young are being wildly speculated on, Jung Joon Young’s hidden camera contents are being maliciously sent to random people, and police are being investigated for corruption in a variety of allegations including recently being caught on tape covering for a past Jung Joon Young sex crime. Other than the usual reasons victims might not want to come forward, I can’t imagine why now they wouldn’t have the utmost confidence in going to the police given all that.
As far as the rumors about GHB distribution and sexual assault/rape, nobody wants rumors refuted, they want the group texts that were exposed and have gone unchallenged to be shown fabricated. So hopefully threat isn’t some weak online defamation thing and he actually showed they were made up or something.
The cherry on top is the CEO literally ending things by asking if we think drugs only circulate in Burning Sun, which nobody does, isn’t a defense, and actually implicates his own club in having drug use on its premises.