Earlier this morning, the K-pop world was sent into a frenzy following a report by Korean media outlet Dispatch accusing iKON’s leader B.I (whose real name is Kim Han Bin) of attempting to purchase drugs in 2016. Things escalated quickly — within the span of a few hours, the fallen idol admitted to the claims and announced that he will be quitting the band.
For those who’ve yet to get caught up with the whirlwind of events, here’s the lowdown on how the allegations unfolded.
Dispatch drops the news
Fans woke up to an exclusive report by Dispatch on B.I’s drug accusations, which contained transcripts of KakaoTalk messages exchanged between the K-pop star and a drug dealer back in April 2019. In the conversation, B.I attempted to purchase marijuana and LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) from the dealer and even asked for a discount for bulk orders.
B.I then urged the latter to delete the chats to avoid being caught by authorities. The anonymous offender in question was subsequently arrested for violating the drug law, which led to the police digging up the suspicious convo during investigations.
YG Entertainment reportedly refuted the claims in a statement to Dispatch via a phone call, asserting that B.I has no relations to the drug case and that none of the iKON members were tested positive in their urine examination, which was recently conducted ahead of their promotions.
B.I quits the band
Just hours after, B.I took to Instagram to issue an apology and announce his departure from iKON. Although he denied taking drugs, the idol admitted to having “interest” in it during a period when he was going through a tough time. He continued, “Nonetheless, I feel ashamed and apologetic towards my fans who are greatly disappointed because of my inappropriate actions. I intend to humbly self-reflect on my mistake and leave the group.”
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Variety show appearances affected
It was also reported that the production teams of JTBC’s Grand Buda-Guest and SBS’ Law of the Jungle would be completely editing out B.I’s parts in the upcoming broadcasts. The iKON member had been a regular cast member of Grand Buda-Guest since its premiere on 3 June, while the Law of the Jungle episode that he had appeared in was originally scheduled to air on 15 June.
YG confirms B.I’s departure from iKON
Following B.I’s shocking announcement, YG Entertainment has released an official statement confirming his departure from iKON. Below is the full translation courtesy of Soompi:
“This is YG Entertainment.
We bow our heads and apologise for disappointing everyone with our artiste Kim Han Bin’s problem. Kim Han Bin is feeling the heavy responsibility due to the impact of this matter and has decided to terminate his exclusive contract and leave the team.
YG has become keenly aware of our responsibility in managing our artistes. Once again, we sincerely apologise for causing concern.”
This isn’t the first time that YG Entertainment has been embroiled in drug-related scandals – former BIGBANG member Seungri was involved in a series of snowballing allegations earlier this year. Amidst B.I’s turmoil, YG’s head Yang Hyun Suk is also under suspicion for arranging prostitution services for foreign investors as well as tax evasion.