BIGBANG's Seungri offers to retire amid snowballing allegations

Big Bang's Seungri announces retirement amid controversy

The K-pop star, whose real name is Lee Seung-hyun, apologized to his fans and said he had been branded a "traitor to the nation".

"Regarding the issues that are being investigated, I will be investigated diligently and reveal all the suspicions", Seungri wrote in a statement on Instagram (via soompi). The police are questioning at least three other people implicated in the Kakaotalk conversations in which it is alleged Seungri also participated.

On March 11, a high ranking YG Entertainment employee explained to YTN Star that Seungri's retirement from the entertainment industry was decided on his own without a discussion with the agency.

Police on Sunday accelerated their probe into sexual bribery allegations involving Seungri of South Korean boy band BigBang, as they booked him as a suspect and raided a Seoul nightclub associated with the performer to gather evidence.

'I have faced heavy criticism from the public for the last month and-a-half and I'm being probed by all investigative authorities in the country, ' Seungri said. "I just can not accept causing pain to those around me just for my sake".

Seungri shares a message with fans about why he's leaving the industry
Seungri thanks his fans for their support as he quits the music industry. Instagram

BIGBANG is one of Korea's most popular boy bands, having sold more than 140 million records worldwide since their debut in 2006.

"I give my heartfelt, honest thanks to fans at home and overseas who gave their love for the past 10 years, and I think this should be it for the sake of the reputation of YG and Big Bang".

The nightclub came under subsequent police investigation over whether it was a hot spot for drug distribution and sexual harassment.

In 2011, band leader G-Dragon was investigated for smoking marijuana, which is illegal in South Korea, but was released without charge.

Still Seungri is reportedly scheduled to enlist in the military on March 25, despite the ongoing investigation.

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