Korean Entertainment Industry Reels from Sex Scandal

20 April 2012

MANILA, Philippines - The Korean entertainment industry has been rocked by another sexual harassment scandal following the arrest of Jang Seok-woo, the founder and chief executive officer of Open World Entertainment.

Jang was arrested last week at his office by the Gangnam Police for allegedly sexually harassing the agency's female trainees.

As the investigation unraveled, the police said Jang even forced members of a boy band to join in sexually harassing the trainees.

According to the police, the sexual harassment happened on the fifth floor and basement dance studio of the agency's building.

The victims involved six trainees, two of them underage.

After the scandal broke out, Open World Entertainment issued a statement to apologize and deny the charges.

Open World Entertainment manages boy bands X-5 and The Boss, Jun Jin of Shinhwa and actors Ko Joo-won and Shin Ji-soo.

The police are also trying to obtain an arrest warrant against a 38-year singer from another agency who's also accused of being involved in the sexual harassment, according to the Korea JoongAng Daily.

"Police said that even after his 10 employees left work around 7 p.m., Jang stayed at the building to practice with his female singers. In the basement rehearsal studio, Jang made his female victims drink beer mixed with aphrodisiacs, then sexually assaulted them numerous times," the English newspaper said in its report on April 19.
According to Korean media, the CEO has reportedly admitted to some of the charges.

Two members of an idol group of Open World were invited by the police to shed light on the incident including their alleged involvement. The police did not identify them.
Because of the scandal, The Boss postponed the release of their new album last April 17.

In 2009, actress Jang Ja Yeon, who was in the hit drama series "Boys Over Flowers," committed suicide.

In her suicide note, Jang claimed she was forced to have sex with media executives and CEOs in South Korea.