Photograph of late singer and actor Choi Jin-young [Asia Economic Daily]
Choi Jin-young, the singer and actor brother of late actress Choi Jin-sil, was found dead at his home yesterday after having committed suicide, according to Gangnam Police Station.
An official with Gangnam police said Choi's friend from school, identified only by her last name Jung, discovered the 39-year-old celebrity hanging himself from a cord hung from his projector on the ceiling of his room on Tuesday afternoon.
Paramedics arrived on scene after Jung and Choi's mother called the rescue squad but died prior to his arrival at Gangnam Severance Hospital, the official said.
The news has left the nation in shock as it comes just 18 months after his sister took her own life. The late Choi Jin-sil hung herself too after having suffered from depression, the same condition which is presumed to have led her younger brother to commit suicide.
"Testimonies by his family and acquaintances revealed that he had been depressed after his sister's death", the police official explained. "He had also been agonizing over the fact that nothing in his life was going right -- he stopped going to school starting this year and was stressed he had no work".
Choi Jin-young had debuted in 1993, appearing in several dramas and films as well as releasing a couple albums, but his career had failed to garner much attention after the late 1990s.
He had stated he would make a comeback next month, however, to do his best to support the two children his sister had left behind -- a son now eight years old and a daughter two years younger. Choi's family had taken custody of the two.
Choi Jin-sil was a household name in South Korea, enjoying a highly successful 20-year career during which she appeared in numerous hit TV series and movies. Her acting skills won her multiple best actress awards on both the big and small screen.
An ugly divorce in 2004 from a four-year marriage to professional baseball player Cho Sung-min forced Choi to stay out of the limelight for a while, but left the talented actress undaunted for when she made her comeback the following year.
She had suffered from extreme mental stress and depression upon her death in October 2008 however, after rumor circulated that she was involved in the death of actor Ahn Jae-hwan, who took his own life a month ahead.
Choi had allegedly lent a large sum of money to Ahn, also the husband of her close friend Jeong Seon-hee, who was struggling from heavy debt which had been mounting after his business failed.
Reporter : Park So-yoen firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor : Jessica Kim email@example.com
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