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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Parasite Star Lee Sun-kyun Found Dead in Apparent Suicide

Parasite star Lee Sun-kyun's tragic death amid a drug investigation leaves a void in South Korea's entertainment industry, sparking reflections on the impact of celebrity scandals and the toll on personal and professional life.

South Korean actor Lee Sun-kyun, renowned for his role in the Oscar-winning film “Parasite,” was discovered dead in an apparent suicide in central Seoul, according to police reports on Wednesday. The 48-year-old actor’s body was found in a car near a city park.

Lee had been under investigation for alleged illegal drug use since October. The actor faced accusations of using marijuana and ketamine, with the investigation revealing suspicions of drug use at a bar in Seoul. Despite Lee maintaining his innocence and negative drug test results, the allegations had a damaging impact on his reputation.

The police have initiated an investigation to determine the circumstances of Lee’s death. His family has declined an autopsy, and the actor is scheduled to be buried on Friday. Lee’s agency, HODU&U Entertainment, expressed deep sorrow, urging the public to avoid spreading false information based on speculation.

Lee Sun-kyun gained international acclaim for his portrayal of Park Dong-ik in the critically acclaimed film “Parasite,” which won four Oscars, including Best Picture. His extensive career, spanning over two decades, encompassed numerous films and TV shows, making him a household name in South Korea.

Drug offenses, including marijuana use, are considered serious crimes in South Korea, where celebrities are held to high standards of propriety. Strict drug laws have led to significant consequences for celebrities, impacting their careers and public image.

Lee Sun-kyun’s death comes amidst an ongoing crackdown on narcotics in South Korea, marked by stringent drug laws. The country’s president, Yoon Suk Yeol, has pledged to mobilize government resources to combat drug crimes, reflecting the government’s commitment to a comprehensive approach against drug-related offenses.

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Lee is not the only South Korean celebrity facing investigation for drug use. Earlier in the month, K-pop star G-Dragon was cleared of drug allegations after weeks of investigations. Actor Yoo Ah-in is currently standing trial for drug use.

The allegations of drug use resulted in professional consequences for Lee Sun-kyun. He was dropped from the TV series “No Way Out,” and businesses removed advertisements featuring him. The incident sheds light on the challenges faced by South Korean celebrities when embroiled in drug-related controversies, leading to contractual terminations and image damage.

The actor’s tragic death has sparked a range of reactions online, with fans expressing condolences, emphasizing the human aspect of celebrities, and reflecting on Lee’s significant contributions to the entertainment industry.