Korean media outlet “SpoTV News” mentioned that 4 out of 6 Shinhwa members have broken the Korean law. Check out their full article below.
“SHINHWA is called the longest-lived national idol group. In fact, four out of six members are law offenders accused of drunk driving to unlicensed driving, illegal gambling, overseas expedition gambling, car theft, and violation of COVID-19 rules. It’s a spectacular record that you might never imagine to happen all in one team. Fans are also turning their backs, saying, “We’re no longer able to shield them,” due to the controversies that occur once in a while.
SHINHWA debuted as the “comet” of the music industry in 1998. Celebrating their 24th year since their debut this year, they are the longest-running idol group in Korea that has never disbanded, withdrawn or replaced members. In particular, when their contract with the past agency expired, all members moved to the same agency to protect their group name and members, and they even established a company themselves. SHINHWA, who is so loyal, has become an example for other idols.
As singers, they may have risen to a position that everyone respects, but their private lives were never exemplary. For 24 years, the members took turns causing incidents and accidents.
Recently, Shin Hye-sung has been at the center of controversy. Shin Hye-sung was arrested on charges of refusing to take a breathalyzer test under the Road Traffic Act at Tancheon 2 Bridge in Songpa-gu, Seoul on October 11th. Shin Hye-sung, who fell asleep while driving drunk, was found by police after they received a report that a vehicle stopped in the middle of the road. At that time, he was arrested for refusing the police’s request for a breathalyzer test. To make matters worse, Shin Hye-sung’s car was reported to have been stolen, so he was charged with theft on suspicion of drunk driving.
On October 13th, CCTV inside a convenience store containing Shin Hye-sung’s whereabouts was released. Shin Hye-sung, drunk and unconscious, entered the convenience store without wearing a mask and smoked indoors. After leaving the convenience store, he boarded the vehicle through the passenger seat and drove under the influence of alcohol.
Moreover, this is the second time that Shin Hye-sung has been caught on suspicion of drunk driving. Shin Hye-sung was caught drunk driving from Apgujeong-dong to Samseong-dong in Seoul in 2007. At that time, his blood alcohol concentration was 0.097%, and his license was suspended.
At the time, Shin Hye-sung apologized and promised self-reflection, saying, “There is no excuse for my actions.” However, it was revealed that he gambled five times, losing 100 million won, at overseas casinos, including those in Macau, during his self-reflection period. Shin Hye-sung was fined 10 million won in October 2009.
In addition to Shin Hye-sung, there is one more member who was caught drunk driving in the past. In October 2005, Jeon Jin was caught in a police crackdown while driving under the influence of alcohol and got his license suspended for 100 days. At that time, his blood alcohol concentration was 0.065%.
Lee Min-woo was once caught driving without a license. In May 2004, Lee Min-woo was booked without detention on charges of violating the Road Traffic Act for driving about 1km of roads in Samseong-dong without obtaining a license. At that time, Lee Min-woo’s license was revoked in 2002 due to accumulated penalty points.
Andy caused controversy in 2013 by gambling illegally with broadcasters Boom and Yang Se-hyung while serving in the military. At that time, the court summarily indicted Andy and fined him 5 million won for gambling using mobile phones.
Despite numerous controversies, SHINHWA has maintained its title as the “longest national idol group.” However, some are saying that the title does not mean anything because of the group’s actions. Many said that first times are just mistakes, but their repeated incidents and accidents without self-reflection are inevitably criticized by the public. The idols who conquered a whole generation have become troublemakers, leaving only disappointment for fans.