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Singer Kim Ho-joong faces hit-and-run, drunk driving, driver swap allegations

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Trot singer Kim Ho-joong / Courtesy of Think Entertainment

Kim faces criticism for proceeding with concerts after incident

By KTimes

Popular trot singer Kim Ho-joong, 33, is facing harsh public criticism due to allegations regarding a hit-and-run accident as well as allegedly attempting to conceal his involvement as the driver.

His agency, Think Entertainment, issued a statement on Thursday. Lee Kwang-deuk, the CEO of the agency, said, “I asked the manager, who reportedly turned himself in, to take Kim Ho-joong’s clothes and handle the situation on his behalf.”

This admission suggests an attempted cover-up by the agency. The singer is accused of fleeing the scene after colliding with an oncoming taxi on a road in Apgujeong-dong, Gangnam District, Seoul, at around 11:40 p.m. on May 9, in violation of the Road Traffic Act.

His manager, only identified as “A,” allegedly went to the police wearing the clothes Kim had on during the accident and claimed responsibility for the crash.

Regarding the decision to send the manager to the police station to declare himself as the driver instead of Kim, the CEO said, “After the accident, Kim Ho-joong experienced a severe panic attack and made the wrong decision not to deal with the accident and moved the vehicle. I was very afraid of the potential controversy if it became known that Kim was involved in the accident.”

Trot singer Kim Ho-joong / Captured from KBS

Trot singer Kim Ho-joong / Captured from KBS

Proceeding with concerts after incident

He claimed that removing the memory card from Kim’s car’s black box was a personal decision made by another manager.

When Kim eventually appeared at the police station, he initially denied driving the car but later confessed while under questioning. He is also suspected of drunk driving, as the police investigation revealed he had visited a bar in Gangnam-gu before the accident.

However, the CEO insisted, “On May 9, he visited the bar to greet people I was with him during a drinking session. Kim did not drink because he had a concert in Goyang City coming up.”

Kim also denied the drunk driving allegation, admitting he went to the bar but did not consume alcohol.

Kim is facing public criticism for proceeding with concerts on May 11 and 12 apparently without taking time for self-reflection after the accident.

The CEO said, “All individuals involved are currently cooperating with the investigation, and the agency will do its best to handle the aftermath.”

Police have launched an investigation into the singer. The Gangnam Police Station, after discovering that the memory card from Kim’s car black box was missing, and applied for a search warrant on May 14.

This article from the Hankook Ilbo, sister publication of The Korea Times, was assisted by generative AI and edited by staff of The Korea Times.

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