K-pop star Seungri detained pending South Korean court ruling on sex scandal

Former BIGBANG boyband member Seungri, center, is taken into custody as he leaves the High Court in Seoul on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 14 May 2019
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K-pop star Seungri detained pending South Korean court ruling on sex scandal

  • Seungri and his partner procured a dozen prostitutes for a group of Japanese investors in 2015 at their upmarket Burning Sun nightclub
  • The pair also allegedly embezzled around 530 million won ($450,000) from the business

SEOUL: South Korean pop star Seungri went to court Tuesday for a hearing over whether he should be arrested on charges including prostitution in a snowballing sex scandal.
The 28-year-old singer from popular boy band BIGBANG and his business partner are accused of arranging sex services for potential investors and rich clients at a nightclub owned by the pair.
Dressed in a sharp black suit, Seungri — real name Lee Seung-hyun — quickly walked past a mob of reporters at the Seoul Central District Court, tight-lipped as he brushed off questions.
Hours later a somber-looking Seungri stepped out of the building, his hands cuffed and covered with a cloth, to be taken to a nearby detention center to await the court decision, expected late Tuesday night.
Police investigations have shown that Seungri and his partner procured a dozen prostitutes for a group of Japanese investors in 2015 at their upmarket Burning Sun nightclub, according to Yonhap news agency.
The pair also allegedly embezzled around $450,000 (530 million won) from the business and face charges of violating sanitary codes at Burning Sun, where drug peddling was allegedly commonplace and women are said to have been regularly raped.
Seungri — who announced his retirement from showbusiness in March as the scandal ballooned — has denied the charges.
Other stars have been embroiled in the allegations, which have cast a shadow over the K-pop industry after investigations into Seungri revealed an online chatroom where a handful of male celebrities shared illegally filmed sex videos.
Singer-songwriter Jung Joon-young, who ran the chatroom, was arrested in March after admitting to filming himself having sex and sharing the footage without his partners’ consent.
A member of boy band FT Island was arrested earlier this month while another figure has announced his retirement from the entertainment industry amid an ongoing probe.


Yoga teacher found alive after 17 days lost in Hawaii forest

In this image courtesy of Javier Cantellops and obtained at facebook.com/AmandaEllersMissing/, shows missing hiker Amanda Eller (2nd L) with her rescuers, (L-R) Javier Cantellops, Troy Helmer and Chris Berquist, on May 24, 2019, at Makawao Forest Reserve on the Hawaiian Island of Maui. (AFP)
Updated 26 May 2019
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Yoga teacher found alive after 17 days lost in Hawaii forest

  • Volunteers spent days scouring the thick forest around the trailhead where she parked

HAWAII: Rescuers in Hawaii have found a yoga instructor who went missing for 17 days while hiking in a forest reserve and survived by drinking from streams and eating plants.
Amanda Eller, 35, went hiking in Maui’s Makawao Forest Reserve on May 8 but became lost when she walked deeper in the reserve, which covers more than 2,000 acres, instead of heading back to her car as she believed.
Rescuers in a helicopter hired by her family spotted Eller on Friday afternoon in a ravine by a waterfall, miles from her vehicle.
“Sure enough, God willing, she was right there,” Javier Canetellops, a search coordinator who was in the helicopter, told reporters. “Unbelievable.”
Eller, who also works as a physical therapist, was malnourished, shoe-less, and had a broken leg and torn meniscus in her knee, as well as sunburn and scrapes. She was airlifted to a hospital and expected to make a full recovery.
Friends had launched a “Find Amanda” campaign on Facebook, and just an hour before she was rescued they offered a $50,000 reward for information. Volunteers spent days scouring the thick forest around the trailhead where she parked.
“Elated. Excited. Ecstatic,” Eller’s mother, Julia, told NBC News affiliate KHNL in Honolulu. “I can’t even put it into words I’m so incredibly grateful.”