4 Celebrities Charged with Using Michael Jackson Killer Drug

Four celebrities have been indicted for abusing Propofol, the powerful anesthetic that was responsible for the death of Michael Jackson.

Police said former TV host Hyun Young admitted to abusing the drug, while actresses Park Si-yeon and Lee Seung-yeon "partially admitted" their offenses. Actress Jang Mi-inae, however, denies the charge.

Hyun was slapped with a W5 million (US$1=W1,098) fine for abusing Propofol 42 times between February and December 2011. The other three were indicted without arrest.

Hyun was apparently very cooperative with investigators during her probe last month. Acquaintances advised her to take legal action, but she apparently decided to admit the offenses, police said.

Hyun told police her doctor omitted the names of other celebrities who were given Propofol from medical records at his clinic, but he would not do the same for her, so she went under her sister's name. She claims she stopped using the drug when she found out she was pregnant.

From left, Lee Seung-yeon, Park Si-yeon, Jang Mi-inae and Hyun Young From left, Lee Seung-yeon, Park Si-yeon, Jang Mi-inae and Hyun Young

Jang adamantly denies the allegations, saying she did not even know what Propofol was until this scandal broke and had no idea she was given the drug. She is charged with abusing Propofol 95 times between February 2011 and September last year.

Park apparently confessed even before prosecutors began questioning her. "She admitted that she was given Propofol as she underwent Carboxytherapy," a police investigator said.

Carboxytherapy involves injections of carbon dioxide gas into the skin in order to kill fat cells and improve elasticity. But Park sought leniency claiming the Propofol was intended to alleviate the pain associated with the treatment. Park has been charged with abusing Propofol a whopping 185 times from February 2011 to last December.

Lee confessed to using the drug but claimed she was following the instructions of her physician. She has been charged with abusing Propofol 111 times from February of 2011 to December of last year.

englishnews@chosun.com / Mar. 14, 2013 13:20 KST