Stars in Court Over Michael Jackson Killer Drug

Three actresses who appeared in court on Monday on charges of abusing the anesthetic Propofol, which became famous for killing Michael Jackson.

Lawyers for Jang Mi-inae said prosecutors failed to recognize the need for people in her profession to undergo painful treatments in order to maintain their beauty. Jang denies the charges, claiming she was given Propofol to numb the pain associated with Carboxytherapy, which involves injections of carbon dioxide gas into the skin to kill fat cells and improve elasticity.

Her lawyer said the actress tried exercising to lose weight but that failed, so she sought medical help.

Lee Seung-yeon admitted taking the drug but also maintains she did it for "medical purposes." Park Si-yeon is to give her statement in the next hearing.

From Left, Park Si-yeon, Jang Mi-inae and Lee Seung-yeon enter the Seoul Central District Court on Monday. /Newsis From Left, Park Si-yeon, Jang Mi-inae and Lee Seung-yeon enter the Seoul Central District Court on Monday. /Newsis

Throngs of reporters gathered in front of the Seoul Central District Court. Asked if she admits the charges, Jang said, "I apologize for causing such controversy. I will prove my innocence." Lee said simply, "I'm sorry." Park had no comment.

Prosecutors indicted the three actresses earlier this month. Jang is charged with abusing Propofol 95 times between February 2011 and September last year, Park a whopping 185 times from February 2011 to last December, and Lee with abusing the drug 111 times over the same period.

Their trial starts on April 8.

Former TV host Hyun Young admitted the charges and was initially slapped with a W5 million (US$1=W1,114) fine for abusing Propofol 42 times between February and December 2011. She has now been ordered to pay W8 million.

englishnews@chosun.com / Mar. 26, 2013 13:25 KST