I am schocked to learn that South Korean actress Choi Jin-Sil committed suicide.
I first saw Jin-Sil in the Korean drama series “The Last Scandal of My Life” in which she played a middle-aged woman who was employed as a maid by her former boyfriend who is now a popular actor.
SKorean Actress Found Dead in Apparent Suicide
By JEAN H. LEE
SEOUL, South Korea
(AP) – A popular South Korean actress depressed after a divorce and distraught over online rumors was found dead Thursday in an apparent suicide, hours after she sent a text message saying “take care of my children no matter what happens.”
Choi Jin-sil, 39, known as “The Nation’s Actress,” is believed to have hanged herself in the bathroom of her Seoul home, said Yang Jae-ho, chief investigator at Seoul’s Seocho Police Station.
Choi had been depressed since her 2004 divorce and worried about how to care for her two young children, friends told police. She had been distraught after the suicide of a fellow actor she was rumored to have pressured about a loan, police said.
No suicide note was found. However, Choi sent an assistant two cell phone text messages Wednesday night asking her to “take care of my children no matter what happens” and telling her that “I’m sorry,” the chief investigator said.
Choi’s mother told police that the actress returned home drunk around midnight Wednesday, crying and denying the recent rumors, before going into the bathroom, Yang said.
Her mother woke the next morning to find the bathroom door locked and called for help, Yang said.
“Given the results of an examination showing no trace of physical trauma on her body, we concluded that it was a suicide,” Yang told reporters. He said an autopsy and an investigation were under way.
The news shocked her fans, as well as stars and film directors at the Pusan International Film Festival, which opened Thursday in the southern beach town of Busan. A moment of silence was observed in Choi’s honor at the opening ceremony.
Choi made her debut in the late 1980s, quickly becoming the nation’s sweetheart and earning a reputation as a box-office draw. She also starred in prime time TV dramas.
The actress was preparing for the second season of a TV drama, “The Last Scandal of My Life,” in which she played a woman who finds love with a top actor after a painful divorce.
Choi herself had gone through a difficult divorce. She had married baseball star Cho Sung-min in 2000, then a pitcher for the Japanese pro baseball team Yomiuri Giants, but they split in 2002 and divorced two years later.
The deterioration of their relationship became tabloid fodder, culminating in Cho’s arrest for attacking her. Their children are in elementary school.
A friend said Choi worried constantly about raising the children and about her future as an actress, and repeatedly expressed her wish to die, Yang said. Her mother told police Choi was depressed after the divorce and had been taking a sedative, Yang said.
Rumors that she had lent money to actor and longtime friend Ahn Jae-hwan, who was found dead in his car in early September, upset the actress, friends and family said.
Choi denied loaning Ahn money and asked police to find out who was circulating the claims that Ahn killed himself after Choi pressured him to repay a large debt.
A securities firm employee and another suspect are under investigation for defamation in that case, Yang said.