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Lee Sun-kyun dead

Parasite star Lee Sun-kyun found dead in his car after police investigation over drug-use

The 48-year-old actor was found in his car in Seoul


Parasite actor Lee Sun-kyun has been found dead in his car after a suspected suicide in Seoul, South Korea.

The 48-year-old actor was found on Wednesday morning in a Seoul car park after his wife, actress and former Miss Korea contestant, Jeon Hye-jin, found a suspected suicide note and called the police, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.

Lee Sun-kyun had been under police investigation for drug use after a bar hostess accused him of using marijuana and a powder, which the hostess claimed was ketamine.

via YONHAP/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

The South Korean actor, who shot to international fame after his leading role in the Oscar winning film Parasite, claimed he was tricked into taking drugs by a bar hostess who then tried to blackmail him. Lee had since been in the news after being questioned three times at police stations over the incident.

Insisting he had not knowingly taken illegal drugs and after passing toxicology tests, Lee had demanded a lie detector test to determine whether the hostess, only known publicly as “A”, was telling the truth. He had also filed a criminal case, claiming she was trying to blackmail him.

Speaking after his first questioning on October 28th, Lee apologised for causing public concern: “I would like to sincerely apologise once again for causing so many people concerns.

“I will answer all questions truthfully. ‘A’ tricked me into doing drugs. I did not know that what she handed me were illegal drugs.”

South Korea has strict laws against drug use, with those who sell or buy marijuana facing a minimum of one year in prison, and with individuals who use the drug being sentenced to up to five years in prison or fined up to $37,600.

The actor admitted that he and “A” had previously met four times and that he had inhaled a powder through his nose with a straw, believing it was a crushed sleeping pill. However, “A” claimed that she had seen Lee snorting ketamine.

The identity of the bar hostess in her 20s and who worked in the Gangnam district of Seoul has not been made public.

Lee left his final police questioning in the early hours of Christmas Eve and told reporters that he hoped police would make a “good judgement”.

“I have also completed questioning as the plaintiff in the blackmail case.

“The police will now decide whether my statements or the blackmailers are credible, and I hope that they use good judgment.”

After being asked if he had admitted to allegations of drug use, Lee said that he had “answered all questions sincerely during the police investigation today.”

After his third police questioning on December 23rd lasting 19 hours, Lee’s lawyer requested that any further questioning be carried out in private, claiming that the actor felt “burdened” by having to show up in front of cameras for police summons, and that he shouldn’t be made to endure further public humiliation by showing up at the police station for questioning.

Lee was then discovered three days later, unconscious next to charcoal briquettes placed inside of a car near Waryong Park in northern Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea’s emergency office announced.