Choi Seung-hyun of South Korean all-boys hip hop band Big Bang is facing prosecution on allegations of drug use.
Popularly known by his stage name T.O.P., the rapper reportedly abused marijuana four times.
He was fined for the violation, and sentenced to 10 months in prison with a two-year suspended sentence.
Image: Choi Seung-hyun
According to media reports, the 29-year-old actor/record producer will be arraigned in court on 20 July.
T.O.P spoke with reporters during a public briefing where he read out his letter of apology.
“I will deeply reflect on my wrong decision,” he said with a bow to the audience. “I made a big mistake while my mind was in chaos. I promise never to make the same mistake again.”
The artist pleaded guilty to all charges on the crime which he committed last October with a 21-year-old budding singer who was identified by her first name Han.
“We found that T.O.P was investigated during the police service on charges of smoking marijuana before enlistment and sincerely completed all the investigation…
“He [T.O.P] acknowledged most of the charges against him in the investigation process and is deeply regretting what he did,” YG Entertainments, the agency which produced Big Bang’s major albums, said in their official statement.
“We sincerely apologize for causing troubles,” it added.
The rapper started his mandatory military duty as a police officer at the Gangnam Police Station in Seoul since February. He was set to be discharged on November 8, 2018.
However, on 5 June, it was announced that he would be prosecuted without detention for the crime.
He was also suspended from police duty in accordance with official procedure.
T.O.P initially denied allegations of marijuana use, saying he smoked only e-cigarettes with the young girl who quickly testified against him during police interrogations.
Image shows Big Bang’s T.O.P.
The authorities found evidence against him before raiding his home last March. He tested positive for the drug.
Under South Korean law, anyone found guilty of using marijuana [one of the banned substances] faces up to a maximum 5 years in jail or US$43,300 in fines.
Unfortunately for the music icon, reports confirm he will have to resign from his current job and re-enlist, if he gets up to 18 months prison term or more.