Korean entertainer and singer Shin Jung-hwan has returned to TV seven years after his infamous gambling caper in Cebu, Philippines in 2010 that left him debt-ridden and without a career.
The 42-year-old TV personality and fellow singer Tak Jae-hoon are now on the new reality TV show “Project S: Devil’s Talent Donation,” which aired its first episode on cable channel Mnet on Sept. 14.
The two composed the defunct singing duo Country Kko Kko, which debuted in 1998 and lasted until 2002.
On the show, the two offer their services as hosts and singers to people for free. They set up a call center on a house rooftop in Hwagok-dong in Seoul and respond to invitations to events such as birthday parties and athletic meets.
“Project S: Devil’s Talent Donation” is the first TV show for Shin Jung-hwan after he was found to have committed illegal gambling in Cebu in 2010 and was sentenced to eight months in prison the following year.
On Aug. 27, 2010, he went to Cebu for a vacation but failed to go back to South Korea for the taping of Korean TV programs “Star Golden Bell,” “Bouquet” and a chuseok special.
It turned out that he was stuck in Cebu after he failed to pay his gambling debt and made his passport as collateral to loan sharks. He spent about 210 million won (about P8.21 million at the time) in a game of baccarat at a casino from August to September.
He denied the allegations that he could not leave Cebu because of gambling debt and instead, he uploaded a photo on his fan cafe that showed him confined in a Cebu hospital, claiming that he contracted dengue.
This turned out to be a lie after a Korean news program interviewed hospital personnel in Cebu and the stunt resulted in Shin Jung-hwan being condemned by the public and being banned by Korean TV stations.
He returned to South Korea on Jan. 19, 2011 after spending months in Hong Kong and Macau.
In June 2011, a Seoul court sentenced him to eight months in prison for illegal gambling in Cebu. He was paroled in December the same year.
Shin Jung-hwan was previously fined for illegal gambling in 2005.
Tags: casino, Cebu, illegal gambling, Manila Bulletin, Manila Bulletin Entertainment, mb.com.ph, Philippines, Shin Jung-hwan, Shin Jung-hwan gambling Cebu, Shin Jung-hwan returns to TV after seven years