On the afternoon of October 14, South Korean singer-actress Choi Jin-ri was found lifeless by her agent in her residence in Seongnam in Gyeonggi Province.
Local police are further investigating on the assumption that the 25-year-old has probably taken her own life.
“Choi seemed to have lived alone in the house. It seems that she took her own life but we are also looking into other possibilities,” a police official said.
Sulli’s talent management agency SME Entertainment has released a statement with regards to her passing, saying “We are sorry to tell everyone the sorrowful and sad news. Sulli has left us. We cannot believe the situation and we are simply in a state of grief.”
The agency also urged netizens in their statement to “refrain from spreading speculative articles or rumors in respect of the bereaved’s family who is saddened by the sudden tragedy” and expressed their deepest condolences.
Popularly known as Sulli, she debuted in the Korean show business as an actress back in 2005. She was also a member of the Korean girl group f(x) which debuted in 2009.
Some of her known films and dramas include ‘Fashion Kim’, ‘Real’, ‘To the Beautiful You’, and ‘Hotel de Luna’.
After suffering from malicious comments and rumors online in 2014, Sulli went on a short hiatus before resuming her acting career. However, with the continues online trolling, she left the group for good.
f(x) member Sulli became mentally and physically exhausted from the continuous, malicious comments and false rumors, and has expressed her wish to take a break from her celebrity activities for the time being.
After careful deliberation and taking her wish into consideration, we will reduce her activities and let her take a break for the time being.
—SM Entertainment in 2014 (Metro UK)
Struggle against online hate
As mentioned earlier, Sulli struggled with online hate for quite some time. She received harsh criticisms on her career and unconventional lifestyle, as well as her relationship with Dynamic Duo rapper Choiza, who is 14 years her senior. Aside from their age gap, netizens pointed out how the rapper was not ‘good enough‘ for Sulli due to his questionable morals and status in the entertainment industry.
Nevertheless, the singer-actress continued to shine in the industry, even co-hosted a Korean TV show on cyberbullying in June this year. The Night og Hate Comments invites celebrity guests to discuss and respond to mean comments posted about them online. As a subject to these mean comments, Sulli has also addressed these matters on the show.
Days prior to her passing, Sulli had gone live on Instagram where she expressed, “I’m not a bad person. Why are you talking bad about me?”
Fans of the singer-actress expressed their condolences and her friends in the industry delayed their scheduled shows.
On her funeral, the SM Entertainment said in a statement:
Sulli’s funeral will be held in private.
We want the families of Sulli’s victims, who are deeply saddened by the crushing tragedy, to hold a funeral quietly.
We sincerely ask for your cooperation so that the last road to Sulli will at least be beautiful.
If you or anyone you know struggles with thoughts of suicide, contact the National Center for Mental Health Crisis Hotline at 0917 899 8727 and 989 8727.