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New drug scandal as K-pop star B.I quits iKON after LSD allegation despite labe's denial of drug use
721  South China Morning Post 

New drug scandal as K-pop star B.I quits iKON after LSD allegation despite label’s denial of drug use

A report accusing B.I, the leader of K-pop boy band iKON, of drug use has been denied by the singer’s agency, YG Entertainment. Despite the denial, B.I announced he would be leaving the pop outfit and the agency has terminated his contract. South Korean online entertainment portal Dispatch quoted a spokesperson for YG as saying the agency had been strictly monitoring drug use by its artists. “We had a drug test [in the company] but B.I and other iKON members all tested negative,” the spokesperson said.

Dispatch claimed it had received online chats from April 2016 between B.I and an anonymous acquaintance that hinted at drug use. In the chats, B.I asked the acquaintance to buy hallucinogenic drug LSD on his behalf, it said. He reportedly asked: “How much does it cost?” “Do you know a dealer?” and “How do I use LSD?” He also said: “I’m asking you about this because we did it together in the past.”

In August 2016, the acquaintance was arrested at his home in Seoul for alleged drug use. Officers from the Yongin Dongbu Police Station in Gyeonggi – the province surrounding Seoul – reportedly secured the conversations when they confiscated the acquaintance’s mobile phone. At first, the acquaintance said he had provided LSD to B.I, but later changed his position, according to the report. Police told Dispatch the acquaintance later insisted he had not given the drug to B.I and they did not investigate the singer. Dispatch claimed YG intervened to have the acquaintance change his statement. On Wednesday, B.I apologised in an Instagram post and said he would leave the band, but he denied taking drugs. “I wanted to resort to ‘it’ but could not because I was afraid,” he wrote. “I am sorry to my fans and the members.”

YG announced on the same day it had terminated its contract with the singer. B.I, whose real name is Kim Han-bin, made his debut as a member of iKON in 2015. The group rose to fame with several hit songs including Love Scenario released in 2018.

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