Parasite actor Lee Sun-kyun, a South Korean film star best known for his part in the Oscar-winning film Parasite, has been found dead, according to authorities. On Wednesday, the actor, 48, was discovered unconscious in a car in one of Seoul’s famous parks.
It is unknown whether Lee committed suicide, but police said they got a report that he had left home after leaving a note. Since October, he had been under investigation for potential drug use.
Lee portrayed the head of a household of the wealthy Park family, which is infused by members of an impoverished family posing as unrelated individuals in Parasite. The scathing societal satire received four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
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Investigating Parasite Actor Lee Sun-kyun’s Tragic End
In a shocking turn of events, Yonhap news agency recently reported that the late actor Lee was under suspicion for alleged drug use, including substances like marijuana and ketamine. The incident purportedly occurred at a bar in Seoul, where Lee, accompanied by a hostess, claimed he unknowingly consumed illicit drugs.
Denials and Contradictions
The hostess, however, had a conflicting account, informing the police that Lee had used drugs at her residence on multiple occasions—a statement vehemently denied by the actor. Striving to prove his innocence, Lee, through his legal representative, expressed a willingness to undergo a lie detector test.
Despite Lee’s negative or inconclusive drug test results, the police expressed regret over his untimely demise during the ongoing investigation. The inquiry, conducted with Lee’s consent, involved three rounds of questioning, one of which lasted an extensive 19 hours.
Impact on Lee’s Reputation and Career
Lee, associated with HODU&U Entertainment, issued a statement expressing profound sorrow and despair. The agency urged against the dissemination of false information based on speculation, emphasizing the need for a fair narrative surrounding Lee’s final journey.
Reactions on Parasite Actor Lee Sun-kyun’s death
The news of Lee’s death elicited strong reactions online, with sentiments ranging from sympathy to contemplation. Commenters emphasized the challenges celebrities face and the human aspect of their lives. Lee, a married family man with two sons, had enjoyed a successful career spanning over two decades.
The Rise to International Fame and Subsequent Fall
Lee’s career reached its pinnacle with the globally acclaimed film “Parasite,” making history as the first non-English language film to win the Best Picture Oscar. However, the drug allegations tarnished his squeaky-clean, family-man image, leading to repercussions such as his removal from the TV series “No Way Out,” which commenced filming in October.
Impact on Public Image
The investigation’s revelations prompted businesses to take down posters and advertisements featuring Lee, reflecting the substantial damage inflicted on his reputation. In South Korea, where celebrities are held to high standards, the repercussions of drug offenses, including marijuana use, are severe, carrying potential prison sentences of up to five years.
Broader Context: Celebrities and Drug Investigations in South Korea
Lee is not the only South Korean celebrity under scrutiny for alleged drug use. The country’s President, Yoon Suk Yeol, has pledged a rigorous crackdown on drugs, leading to the expansion of the drug crimes department and a commitment to “a total war” on drug crimes by the national police chief.
Recent Cases and Ongoing Trials
In a related incident, K-pop star G-Dragon was recently cleared of drug allegations after an extended investigation period. Meanwhile, actor Yoo Ah-in is currently facing trial for alleged drug use, highlighting the intensified focus on drug-related offenses within the South Korean entertainment industry.
In conclusion, Parasite actor Lee Sun Kyun demise and the ensuing drug investigation shed light on the complex intersection of celebrity life, public scrutiny, and the legal consequences of alleged drug offenses in South Korea. The incident serves as a stark reminder of the challenges faced by public figures and the societal expectations that can swiftly impact their careers and personal lives.