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‘Look after my kids’: Choi Jin-sil

Investigation reveals actress was under extreme mental stress

Oct 04,2008
Police confirmed yesterday that star actress Choi Jin-sil did in fact commit suicide, and that she did it impulsively while under extreme mental stress.

The Seocho Police Precinct announced its findings yesterday, saying they were based on statements of family members and colleagues, memos left in a notebook and on her calendar, and Choi’s recent telephone conversations.

“The National Institute of Scientific Investigation confirmed that she committed suicide in the initial test,” said Seocho crime division director Yang Jae-ho in a press conference. “We will close this case after receiving a final report from the national lab.”

The 40-year-old actress was found dead in her apartment in southern Seoul at around 6:15 a.m. on Thursday morning. Her mother, who wishes to be identified only by her family name, Jung, found her hanging from the shower head with an elastic band around her neck.

According to police, Choi had left inklings about her suicide with people around her. Officers quoted Choi as saying, “I will die. You are the last person I will call in my life. Please look after my children,” in her last telephone conversation at around 12:47 a.m. Thursday with a female magazine reporter she was close to.

Choi also said to her agent in a car on Wednesday night, “How can I attend my children’s sports meet on Friday? I’m not a private moneylender. I want to die. Please stay with my children. If I die, please scatter my ashes on a mountain after I’m cremated,” police added.

Notes Choi left behind said that she was a solitary person, a victim of bullying, and that she didn’t feel right, police said. There was nothing about a private loan, they added.

Much of Choi’s stress was apparently caused by recent rumors circulating on the Internet that she had lent 2.5 billion won ($2 million) to actor Ahn Jae-hwan, who was found dead in his car in an apparent suicide in early September. He is believed to killed himself after business failures led to heavy debts.

Police arrested a 26-year-old employee of a financial firm, identified only by the surname Baek, on charges of spreading false rumors on Sept. 30.

Police said after the woman was arrested she called Choi to ask for forgiveness.

“Choi cried bitterly while arguing with Baek on the phone,” said Yang. “She had to cancel a commercial taping because her face was swollen.”

Over 500,000 Internet users visited Choi’s home page, www.cyworld.com/choijinsil, and posted consolatory messages yesterday.


By Park Sang-woo Staff Reporter [spark@joongang.co.kr]



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