The late Parasite star, Lee Sun-kyun, has been laid to rest in a poignant funeral ceremony held at Seoul National University Hospital.
Family members, friends, and devoted fans gathered to bid their last farewells, shedding tears as they accompanied Sun-kyun’s coffin on its final journey on Friday, December 29.
In attendance were his wife, Jeon Hye-jin, an actress and former Miss Korea contestant, along with their two sons. The emotional funeral procession, led by Lee’s eldest son carrying his portrait, followed by his grieving wife holding hands with their youngest child, left everyone deeply moved.
Friends and co-stars of the beloved actor watched in sorrow as the funeral unfolded. Lee Sun-kyun, aged 48, was discovered dead in his car on Wednesday morning in a suspected suicide.
His wife called the police after finding a suicide note. His body was found in a Seoul car park.
The star will be cremated and his remains will be placed at a memorial park in Gwangju, 32 kilometers southeast of Seoul.
His agency urged the public to respect the heartbroken family’s privacy earlier this week, adding that the funeral would be held in private.
Lee married Jeon, who appeared as a contestant in the 1997 Miss Korea pageant on behalf of Gyeongnam, in 2009 and the couple shared two sons.
Before his death, Lee was being investigated by police over allegations of taking marijuana and a powder which his accuser, a hostess at a high-end bar, said was ketamine. She claimed the drugs were taken at her home.
After news of an official investigation into his alleged drug use was published in late October, he was dropped from major projects, including a mystery thriller TV show, No Way Out, that began shooting that month.
The production company in charge of shooting the show sought to fire him after police said they may have needed a sample of his hair for drug testing, local media reported.
The production company said at the time that it had notified all crew and cast members working on the show, which is about a South Korean serial killer who is being hunted down by a police officer, that the shooting would be postponed for two weeks to reorganize the cast.
His three appearances at police stations for questioning were highly publicized and made headlines. His lawyer, after his final session on December 23, asked that any further questioning be carried out in private, owing to the ‘burden’ of the spotlight.
Lee insisted he had not knowingly taken illegal drugs, and passed toxicology tests: he was demanding a lie detector test at the time of his death, to assess whether he or the hostess – known only as ‘A’ – was telling the truth.
He claimed she was trying to blackmail him, and had filed a criminal case.
‘I would like to sincerely apologize once again for causing so many people concerns,’ he said after his first questioning, on October 28 at the Nonhyeon Police Station in Incheon.
‘I will answer all questions truthfully.
‘A’ tricked me into doing drugs. I did not know that what she handed me were illegal drugs.’