S.E.S member Shoo apologizes for gambling in casino with borrowed money

Lim Chang-won Reporter Posted : 2018-08-03 14:27 Updated : 2018-08-03 14:27
글씨작게 글씨크게

[Photograph by Yoo Dae-gil = dbeorlf123@ajunews.com]

SEOUL -- Yoo Soo-young, a member of S.E.S which was active in the 1990s as South Korea's first-generation K-pop girl band, apologized Friday for losing a big amount of borrowed money at a foreigner-only casino at a Seoul hotel as prosecutors launched an investigation on fraud charges.

"Regardless of the reason, I apologize deeply for evoking public criticism," the 36-year-old singer-actress said in an interview with EDAILY, an Internet business newspaper in South Korea.

The case triggered enormous public attention as it was the first gambling case involving a K-pop girl band member who once enjoyed high popularity. Prosecutors opened an investigation on complains by private lenders that she did not pay a combined debt of 600 million won ($530,973).

Yoo, known professionally as Shoo, is suspected of borrowing 350 million won and 250 million won each from two people in June while gambling at a foreigners-only casino in eastern Seoul in June. She allegedly visited the casino using her foreign nationality. She was born in Yokohama, Japan. Her father is Korean and her mother is Japanese.

Shoo, who debuted in 1997 and got married after her group disbanded in 2003, said she decided to come clean because the name of Eugene, another S.E.S. member, became a top real-time online trending keyword Friday due to wrong information, although she was not involved in the case.

"I am deeply sorry for those who have loved me," Shoo said, insisting that she was not a habitual gambler. She said she lost money after making a chance visit to a casino with her acquaintance to relax. "I did not even know about gambling and casinos. For the first time, I was there out of curiosity."

She said she lost money because she did not know the rules of gambling well and became indebted. "The vicious cycle was repeated in a situation where high interest could be repaid."

Shoo admitted she had borrowed some 600 million, but she said she did not spend it all on gambling as the money included an amount she borrowed because of her "personal irreconcilable circumstances."

"Now I realize that gambling is a scary thing. I extend my promise that I will repay the borrowed money without causing any more trouble," she said. EDAILY said Shoo had borrowed a 350 million won casino check as a gambling fund.

South Korea has about 20 casinos with only one open to locals. Gambling is basically illegal in South Korea.