Full Profile of Choi Jin-sil and Story of Her Family

Choi Jin-sil’s Husband, Wedding, and Children

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During her lifetime, Choi Jin-sil married once to the attractive professional baseball player named Cho Sung-min who played for Yomiuri Giants of Japan. Despite the five-year age difference, Choi Jin-sil being the elder, they announced their marriage at a hotel in Seoul, South Korea, on July 19, 2000, after first meeting on the set of a television show in 1998. Later, Choi Jin-sil and Cho Sung-min had two children, a son named Hwan-hee who was born in 2001 and a daughter named Joon-hee who was born in 2003.

Unfortunately, in 2004, Choi Jin-sil had to divorce her husband Cho Sung-min due to his abusive acts toward her and their estranged relationship since the end of 2002. In one occurrence, Cho Sung-min went to Choi Jin-sil’s house around 2:00 a.m and threw dishes and slapped Choi Jin-sil and her younger brother Choi Jin-young, who also came to the house after receiving a message from his sister. Cho Sung-min confessed that he indeed assaulted Choi Jin-sil, “I was drunk and met her to talk about the rearing of children. I hit her because while we were having a conversation she shouted, ‘Get out.’ It made me angry and eventually, I hit her.

The assault hospitalized Choi Jin-sil for several days. Later, Seoul Seocho Police Station conducted an investigation regarding the assault. On September 1, 2004, Choi Jin-sil and Cho Sung-min legally divorced after receiving the ruling from the Seoul Family Court. Choi Jin-sil was seen crying as she actually did not want to divorce because she did not want her children to be fatherless, whereas Cho Sung-min insisted on getting a divorce.

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Regarding her children, Choi Jin-sil won the parental rights and child custody because Cho Sung-min abandoned his parental rights in exchange for Cho Sung-min’s debt exemption to Choi Jin-sil’s mother and younger brother and several charges against him. In January 2008, the South Korean family register legalized the usage of the maternal family name. As a result, Choi Jin-sil’s children use the surname of Choi (their mother) instead of Cho (their father).

After Choi Jin-sil’s suicide in October 2008, Cho Sung-min wanted to get custody of the children but Choi Jin-sil’s younger brother Choi Jin-young deemed Cho Sung-min’s move as a way to take over the wealth of Choi Jin-sil which her children would inherit. The case was finally settled after Cho Sung-min gave up his rights and the children were left in the legal custody of their maternal grandmother, Choi Jin-sil’s mother.

Five years later, Cho Sung-min was found dead after hanging himself with his belt in a bathroom at his girlfriend’s house on January 6, 2013. Before his suicide, Cho Sung-min downed three bottles of soju and was fighting with his 41-year-old girlfriend Ms. Park, which led to the ending of their relationship. It was also known that he had remarried once after his divorce with Choi Jin-sil and had separated with his second wife in 2010. Cho Sung-min’s memorial altar was held at Korea University Anam Hospital whereas his body was cremated on January 8, 2013, and the remains were buried at the Bundang Sky Castle Memorial Park.

choi jinsil
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choi jinsil
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In June 2015, Choi Jin-sil’s mother and children appeared on MBC’s “Human Documentary Love” which is narrated by actress Kim Yoo-jung. The show gave viewers a peek into their lives. Previously, the three of them appeared in 2011 talking about Choi Jin-sil’s mother’s unconditional love for her grandchildren, whereas in 2015, the interview was focused more on the growth of Choi Jin-sil’s children Hwan-hee and Joon-hee.

Choi Jin-sil’s mother Jeong Ok-suk stated, “Joon-hee has become more talkative, but Hwan-hee has become mute”. Moreover, the daughter Choi Joon-hee once dreamed of becoming an idol singer, but she said the hateful comments that wallpapered Internet sites and her locker at school brought her back to her senses, making her eager to study abroad with her aunt. On the other hand, the son Choi Hwan-hee studied at an international school on Jeju Island and shows interest in being an entertainer like his mother and uncle.

Not only on MBC’s “Human Documentary Love”, Choi Hwan-hee also appeared briefly on SBS’s “Good Morning” to talk about his feelings regarding his mother, “My mom was someone who was comfortable to be around and always by my side. That’s why right now I still believe that she is by my side. I miss her and want to see her. I miss her because she is my one and only mom.

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Contrarily, on August 5, 2017, Choi Joon-hee wrote a shocking long post on Facebook revealing that she had been suffering abuse caused by her maternal grandmother since her mother’s death and was seeking help. In detail, she stated that she had lived with her grandaunt who is not directly related to her by blood but raised her since she was born. However, Choi Joon-hee’s maternal grandmother does not let her stay close with her grandaunt because she is suspicious that the grandaunt might take away the wealth of Choi Jin-sil that Choi Joon-hee inherited.

In that post, Choi Joon-hee also stated that she has told Choi Jin-sil’s close friends Hong Jin-kyung and Lee Young-ja that she has been abused by her grandmother. After the conduction done by the police, there is no evidence which backs up the accusation of abuse by Choi Joon-hee’s grandmother toward her granddaughter. In addition, Choi Joon-hee went to the hospital after being interviewed with a child psychologist in which she requested her maternal grandmother’s custody to be taken away. Many Korean netizens found Choi Joon-hee to be such an attention seeker because this event is not the first time she showed annoying behavior.

Previously, Choi Joon-hee used her mother’s name while doing a broadcast for a website named Afreeca to bully her classmates as she wrote a caption on a Facebook post, “Seriously, if you look like this, don’t you have any consideration for other people’s eyes?” and “It’s a talent to look {this ugly}”. Uh oh, we can only hope that Choi Joon-hee will pass the rebellious stage of being a teenager and bloom as beautiful as her late mother, right?

Choi Jin-sil’s Suicide

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Choi Jin-sil ended her own life by hanging herself on October 2, 2008, at her home in Seoul, South Korea. Choi Jin-sil’s death was very shocking to the nation and world as she always looked strong even after her failed marriage, proving that she had made a successful comeback in KBS2’s “My Rosy Life” and her last drama MBC’s “The Last Scandal of My life”. The hardship hit Choi Jin-sil hard ever since she was accused of being involved in the death of fellow actor Ahn Jae-hwan who was also the husband of her best friend, comedian Jeong Sun-hee. Ahn Jae-hwan committed suicide after being stressed over the debts he had with loan sharks. Apparently, there was a rumor which stated that Choi Jin-sil is one of the loan sharks and demanded Ahn Jae-hwan to pay his debt as soon as possible. Even though she reported the unfounded rumor to the police who successfully arrested the culprit who turned out to be a security company on September 28, 2008, Choi Jin-sil did not find peace and chose suicide.

After Choi Jin-sil’s death, the suicide rate in South Korea increased by 70% after more than 700 suicide cases occurred. Moreover, the news of Choi Jin-sil’s death was widely reported, and a large number of reporters rushed to her house to cover the event. The major portal websites blocked online users from leaving replies on articles concerning Choi Jin-sil for fear that some users might leave malicious comments, and her ashes were briefly stolen on August 15, 2009, by a man who claimed that he was possessed by her soul that ordered him to do so, requiring her ashes to be placed in a new tomb in Gapsan Park Cemetery in Yangpyeong, Gyeonggi Province. Afterward, Choi Jin-sil’s Foundation was founded by Choi Jin-sil’s close celebrity friends, such as actresses Choi Hwa-jung and Uhm Jung-hwa, models Hong Jin-kyung and Lee So-ra, and comedians Jeong Sun-hee and Lee Young-ja.

Choi Jin-sil’s Brother’s Death

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Choi Jin-sil had a younger brother named Choi Jin-young who debuted as a television commercial model in 1987 and as an actor in 1990. He became popular in 1993 after starring in MBC’s “Our Paradise”. He was dubbed to have a similar resemblance to his elder sister. After completing his military service, Choi Jin-young came back as a singer using the stage name SKY and became popular again with his song “Forever” topping the Korean music charts. Choi Jin-young led the funeral procession of Choi Jin-sil, clutching the frame of his sister’s picture and shaking the nation to weep with him. One year and a half later, Choi Jin-young committed suicide just like her elder sister by hanging himself with an electrical cord in the attic of his apartment in Nonhyeon-dong, Seoul, on March 29, 2010. It was known that before his suicide, Choi Jin-young was depressed after his sister’s death and even attempted several suicides through drug overdoses in 2009. Moreover, Choi Jin-young’s decision was also related to stress and frustration over the fact that he was not getting cast in any television series after signing with a new agency and announcing his comeback to the entertainment industry on March 2, 2010.