KUALA LUMPUR, May 30 — Korean superstar Psy has acknowledged fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho as a friend amid increasing international scrutiny over shocking sexual abuse and human trafficking allegations rocking South Korea’s multi-billion dollar entertainment industry.
The popular singer also confessed he introduced the Penang-born accused of masterminding the theft of billions from 1Malaysia Development Berhad to Korean pop mogul Yang Hyun-Suk better known as YG.
Psy came out on his connection to Low — better known as Jho Low — on his Instagram account after he became the subject of a report by Straight, an investigative series by Korean broadcaster MBC.
“Hello. This is PSY.
“It is true that the Jho Low mentioned in the news is my friend. When I knew [Jho Low] back then, he had been someone who was active in Hollywood’s show business industry.
“I came to know of him because of my overseas activities during that time, and I introduced Jho Low to Yang Hyun Suk.
“Regardless of if he was a good friend or not, it is an indisputable fact that I was friends with Jho Low,” the artiste whose real name is Park Jae-sang posted in Korean on May 29, which was translated by Soompi, an English-language website providing coverage of Korean pop culture.
The posting under his official account @42psy42 has over 40,000 Likes on Instagram since it was uploaded.
안녕하세요 싸이입니다. 보도에서 언급된 조로우는 저의 친구가 맞습니다. 제가 그를 알았을 당시에 그는 헐리웃 쇼비즈니스 분야에서 활발히 활동하던 사람이었습니다. 저의 해외 활동 시기가 맞물려 알게되었고 제가 조로우를 양현석형에게 소개하였습니다. 지금에 와서 그가 좋은 친구였는지 아니었는지를 떠나서 제가 그의 친구였다는 점은 명백한 사실입니다. 조로우와 일행들이 아시아 일정 중 한국에 방문했을 때 그들의 초대를 받아 저와 양현석 형이 참석했습니다. 초대된 다른 사람들과 함께 식사를 하고 술을 함께한 후 저와 양현석형은 먼저 자리를 일어났습니다. 당시로서는 먼나라에서 온 친구와의 자리로만 생각했습니다. 이번 건으로 여러분들께 심려를 끼쳐드린 점 죄송합니다.
“When Jho Low and his party visited Korea as part of their Asia tour, Yang Hyun Suk and I were invited to attend [the dinner]. After eating and drinking with others who had been invited, Yang Hyun Suk and I left first.
“At that time, I thought of [the dinner] as a meeting with a friend who came from a faraway country,” Psy said.
He ended his statement with a note of apology for the inconvenience he had caused over the matter.
Psy achieved worldwide fame when his music video for Gangnam Style exceeded one billion views on YouTube, becoming the first video to do so in the website’s history on December 21, 2012.
South Korean media reports alleging Low to be one of the two South-east Asian investors who met Yang, the chief executive of YG Entertainment Inc, through his friendship with pop star Psy, put a Malaysian connection to the scandal.
Various news reports alleged that Low and Thai businessman Chavanos Rattakul met Yang and other high-ranking figures from YG Entertainment, one of the South Korea’s “Big Three” entertainment giants, at an upscale restaurant in July 2014.
The duo had afterwards allegedly left for a club said to be owned by Yang, where they were reportedly offered sexual services then in the latest development to South Korea’s biggest sexual abuse and trafficking scandal.
Yang has since denied his involvement in mediating the sexual services.
Low through an emailed statement by his spokesman has also admitted knowing Psy but denied a report naming him among those who have allegedly been offered sexual services by Yang.