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Prosecutors request prison term for former YG Entertainment CEO Yang Hyun-suk

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Former YG Entertainment CEO Yang Hyun-suk attends his trial at Seoul District Court in Seocho District, southern Seoul, on Monday [YONHAP]

Prosecutors requested a three-year prison sentence for former YG Entertainment CEO Yang Hyun-suk, who is on trial for perverting the course of justice in a bid to try and cover up one of his artist’s drug use.

“It is clear that Yang threatened a girl group trainee to reverse her statement to the police by telling her that he would ‘ruin her’ if she didn’t,” said the prosecution during Yang’s trial at Seoul Central District Court in Seocho District, southern Seoul on Monday. “Not only are his methods and nature of crime malicious, Yang has not acknowledged any of his crimes throughout investigations and trials, and has shown no sign of remorse.”

In 2019, Yang allegedly threatened Han Seo-hee, a former K-pop trainee who was found guilty of taking drugs with Big Bang member T.O.P in 2016, after she submitted a petition for investigation to the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission to testify about former boy band iKON member B.I’s drug use.

According to Han, she met with Yang after her first police questioning, and Yang threatened that he could “ruin her” if she didn’t change her testimony.

Shortly after, she withdrew her complaint.

Yang denied these allegations and said she changed her mind “because she was scared.”

He resigned from his post as YG’s CEO in June 2019.

In September 2021, B.I was sentenced to three years in prison suspended for four years for smoking marijuana and purchasing and using LSD in 2016.

Yang Hyun-suk founded YG Entertainment in February 1998. It became one of the top three leading K-pop agencies in Korea, nurturing superstars such as Se7en, PSY, Big Bang, 2NE1, iKON, Winner and Blackpink. But the stars at YG Entertainment have often been tainted with controversies and rumors, especially those related to alleged illegal drug use.

BY LEE JIAN [lee.jian@joongang.co.kr]