A couple months after those implicated in the ‘Produce 101’ manipulation scandal copped to most of the charges against them, the defendants are now claiming that they only did the manipulation at request of contestants who wanted out.
Through their lawyer, Ahn Joon Young and Kim Yong Bum admitted to manipulating text votes. However, the lawyer added that votes were manipulated due to trainees who wanted to leave the program. The lawyer said, “Defendant Kim Yong Bum heard that a certain trainee in Season 2 did not want to be in the debut lineup, so he understood that as the trainee’s intent to leave and rose the rankings of the trainees who were ranked below him. Although it was not a transparent method, it was not due to personal interest or improper bribery.” “Defendant Ahn Joon Young confirmed a certain trainee’s desire to leave in the first preliminary round of Season 1, so he took action after reporting to CP Kim Yong Bum and receiving approval. It was not due to bribery,” the lawyer continued.
They also say the stuff that certainly looked like bribes were actually not bribes.
Regarding the charge of Ahn Joon Young accepting bribes, the lawyer stated, “Ahn Joon Young admits to drinking with the entertainment agency officials, but he did not receive improper bribes. He does admit to violation of the Improper Solicitation and Graft Act.” Lawyers of the entertainment agency officials also said, “It is true that they treated him, but they did not bribe him. There were no motives to forcefully bribe. They only drank together as they are personally acquainted. There were also many separate gatherings unrelated to the program such as birthday celebrations.”
I mean, so much money was spent at adult entertainment facilities with company reps and then the rankings were (by their own admission) subsequently manipulated. So I don’t think they expect people to believe them at this point, but legally I guess they have to try what they can to get anything minimized.