Star Choi Jin-young Commits Suicide

Choi Jin-young Choi Jin-young

Actor and singer Choi Jin-young was found dead in an apparent suicide at his home in Nonhyeon-dong, Seoul on Monday afternoon. He was 39. His elder sister Choi Jin-sil, a famous actress, also killed herself in October 2008.

According to the Seoul Gangnam Police Station, police officers went to Choi's home upon receiving a report at 2:14 p.m. and found him dead in the attic with an electric wire around his neck.

His body was found by his mother and a woman identified as Chung, who was his junior in college. When Choi did not answer the phone, Chung alerted Choi's mother and the two hurried to his home together.

Choi was declared dead at Yonsei University's Gangnam Severance Hospital around 2:46 p.m. "When he arrived, there was neither breathing activity nor heartbeat. We attempted CPR but there was no reaction,” the hospital said.

Police said they examined his body carefully but found no signs of foul play. A search of his home produced no suicide note. The family decided not to conduct an autopsy.

Choi had canceled engagements for more than a year since his sister's death. He signed with a new agency in January and announced plans on March 2 to resume activities in the first half of this year. He said he was doing it for his sister's son and daughter. MCloud Entertainment said his approaching comeback placed Choi under a lot stress.

Choi, a dropout from Kyungwon College, recalled that his sister encouraged him to finish college so he entered Hanyang University to major in theater last year. But his friends said that he had suffered from depression and had his stomach pumped for a drug overdose last year.

Choi made his debut in 1988 and appeared in many soap operas. He also became a successful singer with the stage name SKY in 1999. His nephew and niece have reportedly not yet been informed of his death.

englishnews@chosun.com / Mar. 30, 2010 09:48 KST