Ex-YG Entertainment CEO Yang Hyun-suk acquitted in first trial for B.I drug scandal

This photo taken on August 20, 2013 shows YG entertainment CEO Yang Hyun-suk attending tvN's new reality show "WIN" production announcement in Seoul

Former YG Entertainment head Yang Hyun-suk has been acquitted after his first trial for a past drug investigation involving B.I.

South Korean news outlet Maeil Kyungje reported earlier today (December 22) that The 23rd Division of the Criminal Agreement of the Seoul Central District Court held a sentencing hearing against Yang on charges of violating the Act on Aggravated Punishment.

Yang was first indicted with charges of trying to cover up the drug scandal last year, after he was accused of threatening and coercing an informant who testified regarding B.I’s alleged drug purchase to the police in August 2016. The informant also claimed that the original investigation into B.I’s alleged drug use had been swept under the rug due to Yang’s connections within the police. Yang was also said to have conspired with a separate entertainment agency in order to force the same informant overseas that same year.

According to Maeil Kyungje, the judge adjudicating today’s hearing acquitted these charges, saying: “There is insufficient evidence to conclude that the accused threatened the victim by notifying the victim of specific and direct harm.” Additional comments regarding Yang’s case have not been published at the time of writing.

Allegations of B.I’s drug purchase and use first surfaced in 2019, after a report detailing his exploits in 2016 was published. The informant had themselves been booked for drug use, and subsequently disclosed B.I’s supposed drug use to local police. The singer later departed from iKON amid the controversy, however later tested negative for drugs in 2020.

Since his exit from iKON and YG Entertainment, B.I has pursued a solo career in music. Most recently, he dropped his mini-album ‘Love Or Loved Part. 1’ last month, led by title track ‘Keep Me Up’. It marked B.I’s first release of 2022, and included pre-release single ‘BTBT’.

The new record is also one of two EPs to be released as part of his ongoing “global album project”, however a release window for part two of the series has yet to be shared by B.I or his agency, 131 Label.

The post Ex-YG Entertainment CEO Yang Hyun-suk acquitted in first trial for B.I drug scandal appeared first on NME.