February 24, 2024

As South Korean police on Thursday defended their aggressive investigation of “Parasite” star Lee Solar-kyun for alleged drug use, the nation’s leisure business was reeling from his loss of life, partially as a result of he’s the most recent widespread performer to die below tragic circumstances in recent times.

Previous to Lee’s loss of life Wednesday, 11 different distinguished South Korean actors, musicians and different performers — most of their 20s and 30s — have died in suspected suicides, accidents and different incidents, one in all which was a murder and others which have been labeled “mysterious,” based on an inventory compiled by the Every day Mail.

It’s believed that the 48-year-old Lee died by suicide, because the movie and TV actor reportedly despaired over the extremely publicized nature of the police investigation, which had compelled him to drop out of a serious movie challenge in October and was inflicting severe injury to his status.

This picture launched by Neon reveals Solar-kyun Lee, left, and Yeo-jeong Jo in a scene from “Parasite.” (Neon through AP) 

The good-looking and charismatic Lee, who shot to worldwide fame when he co-starred in Bong Joon-ho’s Academy Award-winning hit movie “Parasite” in 2019, had undergone three rounds of police questioning since October. He was accused of utilizing marijuana, ketamine and different medication a number of occasions within the firm of a lady who labored at one of many high-end bars in in Seoul’s Gangnam District. South Korea, like many Asian international locations, has strict legal guidelines in opposition to drug use, with individuals who’ve been caught utilizing medication, together with marijuana, going through potential jail sentences.

Lee insisted he had not knowingly taken unlawful medication and accused the bar hostess of making an attempt to blackmail him, stories stated. He was discovered lifeless in his automobile, parked in central Seoul, on Wednesday morning, 4 days after he underwent 19 hours of questioning by police. His assembly with officers was coated by the media, with cameras capturing his arrival on the police station. Lee’s legal professional had requested police to shut his newest spherical of questioning to the media, however they declined.

Lee’s loss of life already has introduced focus to the apparently harsh nature of the police investigation, Reuters stated, and it may carry additional scrutiny to the federal government’s present crackdown on unlawful drug use, in addition to the nation’s reported disaster over psychological well being amongst its greater than 50 million residents. On this outwardly profitable society, greater than 35 individuals on common take their very own lives each day, and suicide is the main explanation for loss of life amongst these aged 10 to 39, the BBC reported.

Lee’s loss of life additionally represents one other blow to members of South Korea’s leisure business, who’ve sadly confronted shedding members of their neighborhood when they’re nonetheless younger or within the prime of their careers. Alarms even have been raised over the pressures on younger entertainers particularly, with the New York Occasions reporting that administration corporations groom them at younger ages to be teen pop idols. Consequently, their appears are carefully scrutinized, and their tightly choreographed lives usually are broadcast on social media platforms, exposing them to each fan adulation and hateful feedback.

Earlier than Lee’s loss of life, 4 different South Korean celebrities died in 2023. In April, the nation was rocked by the unexplained loss of life of 26-year-old actor Jung Chae-yul, who had develop into well-known taking part in an investigative journalist within the TV sequence “Zombie Detective.” Jung was discovered lifeless in her residence, her administration firm introduced, however her firm didn’t determine the reason for her loss of life.

A portrait of Moonbin, a member of K-pop boy band Astro, is seen on an electronic board outside a funeral hall at a hospital in Seoul on April 20, 2023. - K-pop star Moonbin, a member of the boy band Astro, has died, his music label and South Korean police said on April 20, prompting an outpouring of grief from fans. (Photo by Jung Yeon-je / AFP) (Photo by JUNG YEON-JE/AFP via Getty Images)
A portrait of Moonbin, a member of Ok-pop boy band Astro, is seen on an digital board outdoors a funeral corridor at a hospital in Seoul on April 20, 2023. – Ok-pop star Moonbin, a member of the boy band Astro, has died, his music label and South Korean police stated on April 20, prompting an outpouring of grief from followers. (Photograph by Jung Yeon-je / AFP) (Photograph by JUNG YEON-JE/AFP through Getty Photographs) 

A couple of week later, Moonbin, the 25-year-old member of the boy band Astro, was discovered lifeless in his residence of a suspected suicide, sparking additional dialogue about suicide and psychological well being points in South Korea, the Every day Mail stated. He had gone on hiatus in 2019, as a consequence of unspecified well being causes, however returned to the band in 2020.

Two extra deaths occurred in June. First, social media influencer BJ Ahyeong, 33, was discovered lifeless in a ditch in Cambodia, on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, on June 6, stories stated. Police stated her neck appeared to have been damaged, and the influencer, who had greater than 250,000 Instagram followers, had been wrapped in a pink rug.

Cambodian police subsequently arrested and charged a Chinese language couple, who ran a medical clinic that BJ had visited in Cambodia, the CBS Information reported. The couple denied killing her, telling authorities that she had suffered seizures and died whereas she was receiving remedy at their clinic. Nonetheless, they dumped her physique within the ditch, and so they have been charged with “homicide accompanied by torture.”

4 days after the invention of BJ’s physique, 29-year-old Ok-drama actor Park Soo Ryun fell down a flight of stairs and suffered a traumatic damage that left her brain-dead, the Every day Mail and New York Submit reported.  Park had starred within the widespread Disney+ Ok-drama “Snowdrop.”

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 15: Singer Sulli attends Tory Burch Spring 2016 at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts on September 15, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Tory Burch)
NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 15: Singer Sulli attends Tory Burch Spring 2016 at Avery Fisher Corridor at Lincoln Heart for the Performing Arts on September 15, 2015 in New York Metropolis. (Photograph by Cindy Ord/Getty Photographs for Tory Burch) 

Going again to 2019, suicide was suspected within the deaths of two Ok-pop stars and shut buddies. Sulli, a former youngster actress and member of the modern woman group f(x), was discovered lifeless in her residence in October 2019, the Every day Mail reported on the time. She was 25 and was identified for talking out on psychological well being points, cyberbullying and girls’s rights — points that stay delicate in a conservative society like South Korea, the BBC reported. Whereas Sulli insisted that girls ought to be free to decorate as they happy, she was usually the goal of on-line abuse for not sporting a bra in public.

A month later, her buddy, Goo Hara, additionally died by suicide in her residence, the Every day Mail stated. Goo, 28, previously of the woman band Kara, had reportedly tried suicide six months earlier.

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - NOVEMBER 25: A memorial altar of K-pop star Goo Hara is seen at the Seoul St. Mary's Hospital on November 25, 2019 in Seoul, South Korea. K-pop star Goo Hara of Kara was found dead yesterday on November 24. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – NOVEMBER 25: A memorial altar of Ok-pop star Goo Hara is seen on the Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital on November 25, 2019 in Seoul, South Korea. Ok-pop star Goo Hara of Kara was discovered lifeless yesterday on November 24. (Photograph by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Photographs) 

Different Korean stars who’ve died in recent times embody Ok-Pop singer Tany, who was killed in a deadly automobile crash in April 2018 at age 22; comic Park Ji-sun, 35, who was discovered lifeless in her residence in November 2020, alongside her mom, in a suspected double suicide; and TV star Tune Yoo-jung, 26, who was discovered lifeless in her residence in January 2021 below mysterious circumstances.

One other “thriller loss of life” concerned one other Disney+ “Snowdrop” star, Kim Mi-soo, who died out of the blue at age 29 in January 2022, whereas 24-year-old actor and Ok-pop singer Lee Ji Han was one in all greater than 150 individuals who died in a crush of greater than 100,000 individuals who had been celebrating Halloween in Seoul in October 2022.

In case you or somebody you understand is combating emotions of despair or suicidal ideas, the 988 Suicide & Disaster Lifeline provides free, round the clock assist, info and sources for assist. Name or textual content the lifeline at 988, or see the 988lifeline.org web site, the place chat is obtainable.