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Andy Lee Of Shinhwa Retreats From Spotlight After Being Indicted Along With H.O.T.'s Tony An In Illegal Gambling Probe

By Jesse Lent | November 15, 2013 08:20 PM EST

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Andy Lee of the K-pop group Shinhwa (known by his stage name "Andy") has cancelled all professional engagements after being named in an indictment of an illegal online gambling operation along with five other South Korean celebrities, including Tony An of groundbreaking K-pop boy band H.O.T.

He has also left the group's weekly television program "Shinhwa Broadcast."

"I will be suspending all of my activities and reflecting on my actions," Andy told the Korea Star Daily on Thursday.

According to eNEWS, the South Korean prosecutor is charging that Andy, whose real name is Lee Sun Ho, spent over $9,000 on an illegal online service that placed bets on soccer matches overseas,

An and comedian Lee Su Guen are accused of betting more than $350,000 in the illegal soccer gambling ring, according to eNEWS.

Tak Jae Hoon is charged with betting $250,000.

Rapper Boom (real name Lee Min Ho) and actor Yang Se Hyung are also charged with spending roughly $9,000-a-piece in the illegal soccer gambling ring.

In a statement released Thursday by Andy's management company T.O.P. Media, no specifics were given as to when or even if the Shinhwa singer would return to the stage.

"We deeply apologize for worrying all the fans who love Andy through this shameful event," the T.O.P. Media statement read.

"Andy will be halting all official activities and will be thinking about his actions for the time being. We have already informed the staff of the programs he's currently active on. We want to apologize once more for worrying all the people who have sent their love and will do our best to make sure this does not happen again."

According to one executives from Joongang Tongyang Broadcasting Company (jTBC), the network that produces "Shinhwa Broadcast," the show will air the episodes already shot with Andy, but will attempt to edit him out, according to the publication Tenasia.

"We've already taped episodes for two weeks so we can't avoid Andy appearing until the Dec. 1 episode," the jTBC exec said.

"We're going to edit out Andy's parts as much as we can."

The news of Andy's sudden hiatus raises the question of what the future holds for Shinhwa, the longest running group in K-pop, since being formed in 1998.

But it is an even more immediate problem for "Shinhwa Broadcast" particularly since band member Kim Dong Wan recently announced he would not be participating in the new season of the show, which premiered earlier this month.

Citing an inability to commit to the physical and mental demands of the show, Dong Wan's management company Live Works broke the news publicly two weeks before the new season was scheduled to begin on Nov. 3.

"Kim Dong Wan has decided to leave 'Shinhwa Broadcast,'" the Live Works statement read.

"He's apologetic to both the Shinhwa members and the fans who have waited for the return of Shinhwa Broadcast."

According to the Live Works statement, Kim will still sing on the new Shinhwa album, their 12th, slated for release early next year.

No word on whether Andy has already recorded his vocals for the new album or if he will return for the project.

Tagged :  Andy, Shinhwa Broadcast, Shinhwa, H.O.T., Tony An

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