Popera singer Kim Ho-joong under probe for hit-and-run in southern Seoul

Police are questioning popular popera singer Kim Ho-joong over suspicions that he rammed into a parked taxi with his vehicle and fled the scene without taking necessary after-accident measures in southern Seoul last week, officials said Friday. The 33-year-old, who rose to fame after appearing on the hit audition show "Mr. Trot," is suspected of fleeing the scene after crashing into a taxi with his vehicle late at night on May 9 in Seoul's southern Gangnam district. Nearly three hours after the accident, Kim's manager lied to the police that he was behind the wheel at the time of the crash, but Kim eventually acknowledged his responsibility the next day during police questioning. Police suspect the singer was driving under the influence of alcohol, given that Kim evaded a police alcohol test for 17 hours following the accident by hiding at a hotel. Kim's agency, Think Entertainment, is squarely denying that Kim was drunk-driving, saying the accident occurred due to unskilled driving. In connection with the case, the police have also booked the head of the entertainment agency, a company official and Kim's manager on charges of instigating the singer's flight. Charges against the manager also include obstructing the execution of public duties, while the agency official is accused of removing the black box memory card from Kim's vehicle. Police plan to trace the whereabouts of Kim and the agency officials through materials confiscated during raids conducted Thursday at Kim's house, and the home and office of the agency head. Kim rose to stardom after finishing fourth in the finals of TV Chosun's hit audition show "Mr. Trot" in 2020. Kim, once an aspiring opera singer, earned the nickname "Tvarotti," which is a combination of the word "trot" and the name of legendary Italian opera singer Luciano Pavarotti. Source: Yonhap News Agency

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