The “Nation’s Actress’s” Terrible Suicide
Besides the success of K-pop and drama series from South Korea, the country is also widely known for its high suicide rates. This phenomenon also often occurs in entertainment industry. On October 2, 2008, the famous South Korean actress, Choi Jin-sil (born on Dec 24, 1968), was found dead by hanging in her house in Seoul.
Around 6.35 am, Choi Jin-sil’s mother found her body hanging in her room. The police said this case was suicide, because the medical examination results didn’t find any external wounds, or signs of foul play. Choi jin-sil did not leave any explicit note that indicated her desire to suicide, but the police found a memo which showed her great depression after Ahn Jae-hwan’s death. She said “I’m saddened at the people of this world. I don’t understand why they’d torment someone with accusations of money lending or whatnot.”
Many of her friends couldn’t believe the possibility of Choi’s suicide. The day before her death, she had spoken to her co-star in The Last Sandal of My Life, Jung Jun-ho. She kept asking, “Jun-ho, how can the world accuse me of being a loan shark? This isn’t happening, is it?” Jung replied, “It must be upsetting, but it’s a stress that famous people have to put up with, isn’t it? Time will take care of things. You told the police the whole truth in the investigation, didn’t you?” As he spoke regularly to Choi, he did not realize that she was considering suicide.
At 4am, Choi Jin-sil made her last call to her friend. Because it was such a late hour, after hearing her grief, her friend said, “Even if only for the sake of your children, be strong. Let’s talk again on a brighter day.” Her friend was really shocked to realize it was the last time Choi had spoken to someone.
It was unfortunate, considering her achievements so far. She was considered as the best actress in Korea and called “The Nation’s Actress”. In the 20 years since debuting in the entertainment industry, she had acted in 18 films and 20 television dramas. She also won some awards and received nominations for her mesmerizing acting.
Cause of Death
As we know, Choi Jin-sil was known as a successful actress, but behind her fame, she had some awful problems that lead to depression. The main cause of her death was obvious, it was the death of her best friend’s husband, Ahn Jae-hwan. Ahn Jae-hwan was known to have committed suicide on September 8, 2008, because of his mounting debts.
After his death, there were many rumors spread that Choi Jin-sil was involved in Ahn Jae-hwan’s death, that she was a loan shark who lent him a large sum of money. Choi had already sought help from the police, and had the perpetrator arrested for spreading rumors, but she couldn’t handle all the negative accusations about her.
Many people speculated that Choi’s death was from an accumulation of stress from some problems over the past years. It started in 1994, when her manager was murdered by her driver, and she was a witness in the trial. In 2004, she had to divorce her husband, because of domestic violence that had been occurring since 2002 (while she was pregnant of her second child). After that divorce, her career also began to slow down because of her bad image. She had to survive for her two children by herself. As the climax to all of this, in 2008 she was being accused for being involved in Ahn Jae-hwan’s death.