K-pop singer, Park Bom was last seen in the public eye back in 2014 and has kept a low profile ever since. She was the lead singer of 2NE1, a popular K-pop girl group under YG Entertainment, which officially disbanded in early 2017. The reason Park Bom kept out of the limelight for such a long time was due to her drug scandal that blew up in 2014.
The singer was caught mailing illegal medication from the US to South Korea, namely Adderall. In June 2014, according to South Korean news outlet KBS News, Park Bom attempted to bring in around 80 pills of amphetamines in the form of Adderall into South Korea from the US via international mail on 12 October 2010. The package was stopped at customs and thus began the investigation into Park Bom.
Adderall is an FDA approved drug in the states, often used to treat mental illnesses such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Although the drug is legal in the US, it is illegal in South Korea. It was revealed that these drugs were prescribed to Park Bom in the US when she went over for treatment.
As the singer had a prescription, the case was suspended after prosecutors and defendants went back and forth on whether Park Bom smuggled in these drugs as they are still illegal in South Korea. Even though the case was resolved, Park Bom's singing career took a major hit, as the public viewed this as a drug scandal.
Ahead of her comeback solo album this year, Park Bom's new agency, D-NATION, has released a statement addressing her past drug-related scandal on Naver TV. This is to prevent malicious rumours about Park Bom to be spread and to acknowledge her past actions as well.
Their statement reads:
"Hello, this is Park Bom's agency, D-NATION.
Ahead of hosting a press conference for Park Bom's solo album release today (on March 13), we wish to deliver the following statements because we think it is right for us to correct some parts that are far from the truth regarding a series of incidents concerning Park Bom, before [the singer] resumes her domestic promotions.
1. Regarding the incident in 2010 when [Park Bom] brought in medication known as Adderall from the United States via international post, she is still being mentioned as a drug smuggler. We would like to correct this part as Park Bom clearly did not do drugs.
Adderall is a legal medication that is approved by the FDA in the United States and can only be bought with a prescription. However, the distribution of the medicine is still banned in Korea since domestic laws consider it as an antipsychotic drug, which is categorized as drugs. We are only apologetic for causing such a disturbance, which resulted from our ignorance and not being clearly aware of [the laws].
However, the majority of the medical drugs that are FDA-approved in Korea are also labeled as drugs in a broader sense, so when someone takes those pills it does not meant that person did drugs.
Park Bom is also taking pills for the purpose of treatment, and when Park Bom submitted to urine testing at the time [of the incident], they did not find signs of drug usage. As a result, the police acknowledged her situation and evidence, and they concluded their investigation.
2. Park Bom is still suffering from an illness known as ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), and she received a prescription and is taking legal drugs that are similar [to Adderall] while receiving constant treatment from a domestic university hospital.
She is trying her best to defeat the illness even now, and while she went through some difficult times, she wishes to take courage and get back up on her own. We are being cautious ahead of her new start, but we genuinely hope you will look kindly upon her."