Heartbreaking news has emerged about South Korean actor Lee Sun-Kyun, renowned for his role as Park Dong-ik in the award-winning film Parasite. Officials have confirmed that just four days before his apparent suicide, Sun-Kyun pleaded with the police not to publicize his last round of questioning concerning an alleged blackmail plot.
The 48-year-old actor was discovered dead in his car on December 27 at Waryong Park in Seoul, while police were in the process of interrogating him over accusations of illegal drug use. Sun-Kyun was accused of consuming marijuana and other substances at the residence of a local bar hostess. He maintained that he was deceived into taking the drugs and was unaware of their nature, further alleging that the hostess attempted to blackmail him.
Despite Sun-Kyun’s lawyer requesting privacy for the questioning, the police rejected the appeal. The actor’s legal representative had expressed his client’s discomfort with public appearances to discuss the allegations and hoped for a more discreet interrogation process.
This tragic incident highlights the challenges celebrities face when dealing with legal issues in the public eye, shedding light on the complexities of navigating such situations.
The head of the district police force that investigated South Korean actor Lee Sun-kyun has defended the tough questioning of him before he was found dead.
Incheon Metropolitan Police chief Kim Hui-jung told a news briefing the entire process was justified and done with Lee’s consent.
He expressed ‘deep regret’ over his death and offered his condolences to his family.
Kim said the questioning over Lee’s three highly-public appearances, including a final one that went on all night, was necessary to hear his side and was done in the presence of his lawyer.
‘The investigation of the deceased was conducted based on specific reports, testimony and evidence and under legally prescribed procedures,’ he said.
Sun-kyun appeared before police in media between October and December, most recently on Christmas Eve.
Sun-kyun there declined to answer questions from reporters about the charges against him but said he was fully cooperating with the investigation.
He was later found dead in a car at a park in Seoul after being reported missing.
Lee was last seen in public early on Sunday morning after 19 hours of questioning – reportedly as police tried to hear him out in full.
Yoon Hee-keun, the commissioner general of the National Police Agency (NPA), denied that unreasonable investigations had caused the actor’s death.
He added that he would look into investigation practices, YNA reported.
Former South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who was a human rights lawyer before entering politics, was among those who criticised police practice and sensational media reporting of the case.
‘The practice that does huge damage to someone’s honour and character, such as excessively putting them at a media photoline, and pushes them to take the extreme choice must now end,’ Moon said on Facebook.