Male idol faces 2 years in prison for drunk driving, requests leniency for depression and anxiety 

A famous boy group member pleads leniency due to having mental issues after facing a 2-year imprisonment sentence for DUI. 

On the morning of April 6th, Shin Hye Sung (real name Jung Pil Kyo), a member of 1st generation boy group Shinhwa, entered his first trial for violating the Road Traffic Act after refusing an alcohol test and illegally using a car on October 10th last year.

Shin Hye Sung showed up at the courtroom wearing a matching black shirt and pants. The male idol also wore a hat and face mask to cover his face, always bowing his head whenever he saw cameras of journalists.

Shin Hye Sung appeared at his court hearing on the morning of April 6th

According to Sports Seoul, Shin Hye Sung anxiously looked around the courtroom at the hearing as he answered the judge.  

Shin Hye Sung faces a sentence of 2 years in prison after admitting to all charges and confirming the evidence presented by the prosecutor. However, the Shinhwa member’s lawyer appealed for a reduced sentence on claims that Shin Hye Sung has been suffering from mental issues. 

“The accused suffered from panic disorder, social anxiety, and depression while working as a singer  and a Shinhwa member for 25 years. From the beginning of 2021, the symptoms got worse,” the lawyer revealed, adding, “When attending the wedding of a group member, the accused also did not perform due to his poor mental health. Due to his illness, the defendant has not consumed alcohol during this time.”

Shin Hye Sung’s lawyer also shared that the male idol has been suffering from serious mental difficulties for two years, but was afraid that it would be known to the public, and so didn’t get proper treatment. 


“On the day of the incident, he had a meal with acquaintances for the first time in 13 years and started drinking after several years. As a result, he couldn’t think rationally. It’s true that his actions were wrong, but it was unexpected and he didn’t habitually drink and drive”, it was also said. 

Sports Seoul further shared that after the trial, Shin Hye Sung hid in a corner when taking the elevator with many reporters. He looked up at the ceiling, showing a worried expression and lack of focus. Later, the male idol hid in a car, repeatedly saying, “I’m sorry“, when asked questions by reporters.

Previously, on October 10th, after drinking alcohol at a restaurant, Shin Hye Sung was heavily intoxicated. Due to this, he even mistakenly drove someone else’s car without realizing it. When discovered, the Shinhwa member continually refused an alcohol test. Because of his non-cooperation with the police, Shin Hye Sung was arrested shortly after. 

This is not the first time Shin Hye Sung has had trouble with drunk driving. In April 2007, the singer had his driver’s license revoked for the same behavior.

Shin Hye Sung is a first-generation K-pop idol, who debuted as a member of famous boy group Shinhwa in 1998. As of the moment, Shinhwa is considered the longest-running male group in K-pop.

Source: Sports Seoul, Korea Daily

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