(CTN News) – Lee Sun-kyun, a prominent South Korean actor globally recognized for his acclaimed performance in the Academy Award-winning film “Parasite,” has tragically passed away at the age of 48 amidst an ongoing investigation into alleged illegal drug use, as confirmed by the police on Wednesday.
The sequence of events unfolded when Lee’s manager reported him missing to the Seoul police, prompting an immediate response.
Subsequently, Lee was discovered in his car on Wednesday morning, and the authorities have indicated that the cause of death is presumed to be suicide.
Forensic personnel at the scene, depicted in photographs from Wednesday, were seen meticulously examining the surroundings, with a car cordoned off by police tape at the center of their investigation.
Providing context to the unfortunate incident, authorities in the city of Incheon disclosed that Lee had been subjected to questioning three times since October as part of an ongoing investigation into allegations of illicit drug use.
Lee Sun-kyun’s Untimely Demise and the Unfolding Investigation:
Lee Sun-kyun’s untimely demise marks a somber moment in the entertainment industry, casting a shadow over his notable contributions to cinema, particularly his role in the critically acclaimed “Parasite.”
As the investigation unfolds, the circumstances surrounding his passing and the alleged involvement in drug-related activities add a layer of complexity to the unfolding narrative.
Lee was detained by the police most recently on December 23 and was held for 19 hours before being released the following day.
Throughout the investigation, all of Lee’s drug tests returned negative results, according to Incheon police, who did not specify the number of tests conducted.
Lee asserted that he was deceived into drug use and subsequently blackmailed by the same individual, as per police statements. Lee filed a lawsuit against the alleged blackmailer, and the police noted that they received a tip about his alleged drug use before the lawsuit was filed.
One man and one woman have been arrested in connection with the drug investigation, according to the police.
On December 26, Lee, through his lawyers, requested the police to conduct a polygraph examination of himself and two other individuals apprehended by the police.
The police extended condolences to the actor’s grieving family, emphasizing that they had endeavored to prevent media leaks about his drug investigation before its completion.
This approach aligns with South Korean law, which prohibits those involved in a criminal investigation from disclosing information about the suspect before a public indictment is released.
A “quiet” funeral for Lee will be held with family members and colleagues in attendance, reported South Korean news agency Yonhap, citing his agency, Hodu & U Entertainment.
Statement on Lee Sun-kyun’s Passing and Request for Accuracy
The agency stated, “Actor Lee Sun-kyun passed away today. There is no way to contain the sorrow and devastated feelings.” They also urged against spreading false information based on speculation or assumption.
CNN reached out to the agency for comment but did not receive an immediate response.
Lee gained acclaim for his portrayal of Park Dong-ik, the father of the wealthy Park family in “Parasite.” He also received praise for his roles in the 2007 television series
“Behind the White Tower,” the 2010 series “Pasta,” and the sci-fi thriller series “Dr. Brain,” earning him a nomination for an International Emmy Award.