B.I, the leader of K-pop boy band iKON, has announced he will be leaving the group after a Korean news report revealed his alleged transaction chats with a drug dealer a few years ago.
Korean entertainment site Dispatch published a news report on June 12 about KakaoTalk messages between B.I and an unnamed female drug dealer in which he allegedly negotiated to buy LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), a hallucinogen, in 2016.
Just hours after the report was published, B.I posted a statement on Instagram to announce that he would be leaving iKON and to deny the accusation that he took drugs.
“This is Kim Han Bin. First of all, I apologize for the trouble caused by my inappropriate actions,” B.I wrote. “It is true that I once wanted to rely on something that I shouldn’t even have an interest when I had a hard time. But I was scared and afraid to do it.”
He added, “Nevertheless, I am so embarrassed and sorry for the fans and members who are greatly disappointed and hurt because of my wrong words.”
“I humbly reflect on my mistakes and I want to leave my team. Again, I bow my head and apologize to the fans and members. I’m sorry,” B.I said.
The report stated that the drug dealer was arrested in 2016 and was charged for violating drug laws in Korea.
During an investigation by police held on Aug. 22, 2016, the dealer admitted that the KakaoTalk conversations were true and claimed that she delivered 10 pieces of LSD to B.I. outside iKON’s dorm in Mapo, Seoul on May 3, 2016. Despite this, the police did not ask B.I to appear for an investigation.
But on Aug. 30, 2016, during the third investigation, the dealer recanted her statement to say that B.I, indeed, asked her to buy LSD but she was unable to do so.
After B.I.’s post on Instagram, YG Entertainment apologized and announced that his contract with the agency will be terminated.
The accusations against B.I is yet another scandal that has hit YG Entertainment. Big Bang’s Seungri announced his retirement from the entertainment industry amidst allegations that he supplied women to potential investors in his company and issues surrounding the Burning Club in Seoul.
On July 20, 2017, the Seoul Central District Court convicted Big Bang member T.O.P for using marijuana at his home in October 2016. He has sentenced him to 10 months in prison suspended for two years and fined 12,000 won (P527).