|YG Entertainment founder Yang Hyun-suk speaks during a recent press conference. Korea Times file|
By Ko Dong-hwan
|BLACKPINK's Jennie at the 2018 SBS Music Awards at Gocheok Sky Dome in Guro-gu, Seoul, last December. Korea Times photo|
The agency issued a public warning that it would take legal action over online stories claiming that the four-piece girl band member was in a sex video filmed and shared by rocker and TV personality Jung Joon-young.
Jung and boy band BigBang's former member Seungri were questioned overnight on Thursday about the illegal filming and distribution of sex videos. They left the building on Friday morning.
"We clarify here and now that the indecent online rumor involving our company's female artist is downright false," read a public release Thursday from YG, a multi-pronged company with 13 subsidiaries in music labels, advertising, star merchandise, restaurants and more.
"We perceived the rumor wasn't even worth our response. But since we still see the forged story spreading online, we have come to notify that we will take civil and criminal procedures against the person who initially penned it and those who shared it online."
According to one of the online rumormongers, Jennie features in two clips each running three and 12 seconds, in which she is heard saying "stop filming."
The "nuclear bomb-level scandal, equivalent to opening a Pandora's Box, is a once-in-a-century news because the women in Jung's videos are all actresses and singers presently active," said the rumormonger.
He continued, "The victims' agencies must cover the truth at all costs to protect their standings in the show business industry."
The scandal blew wide open earlier this week when news broke that Jung had secretly shared recorded sex videos with his acquaintances in an online Kakao Talk chatroom. The acquaintances included Seungri and other male celebrities. The news was soon followed by online rumors naming the female celebrities who possibly appeared in the controversial videos.
Naver, Korea's biggest online portal, showed popular search words names like actress Jung Yu-mi and singer Lee Chung-ah as the list went viral nationwide. Their names were spread online as possible victims, probably because they worked with Jung on music videos and on a TV reality show.
The rumors also ensnared actresses Oh Yeon-seo and Oh Cho-hee, and Ji-hyo from K-pop girl band TWICE.
All the female stars denied their appearance in the videos, with their agencies reacting strongly to the "baseless stories" and threatening legal action.