The Korea Herald/Asia News Network
Feb 26, 2016
Korean celebrities are often the envy of their fans thanks to their stardom, glitz on the screen and jet set lifestyles. However, a hidden dark side behind the glamour recently drew media attention after a young singer's brave revelation that she was offered money in return for sex.
Jisoo of K-pop girl group Tahiti said last month she was repeatedly offered money by an agency for sex sponsorship although she kept turning down the offer. The 21-year-old said she was offered 4 million won ($3,200) but sources said a sugar daddy in Korea pays up to 100 million won per meeting based on the fame of the celebrities.
Following her remark, other celebrities including singer Ivy, entertainer Chung So-ra and Sayuri Fujita, Japanese television personality who is based in South Korea, also revealed their similar experiences.
SBS' investigative programme "We want to know" also spotlighted the issue more in-depth on Jan. 13. featuring some whistle-blowers and anonymous actresses.
During the show, one informant revealed a so-called "secret list," including female actresses from top celebrities to would-be actress, who are willing to find a sugar daddy. The list also includes local business tycoons, doctors and politicians. One actress, who declined to be identified, said agencies are eager to set the celebrities up because they can get around 30 per cent as commission.
There are also some celebrities who cautiously say the affair does not mean that the entire Korean entertainment industry is involved.
Actresses including Park Ha-sun, Kim Min-jung and Kim Ok-bin expressed their concerns after the show, saying although it happens, it is only a minor part and there are still many others who do not fall for the temptation.
Actor Kim Min-jung said on her Instagram, "I thank the production crew who revealed the true story. But, I hope the revelation does not damage many other actors who are pursuing their career only with passion and sweat."