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How Did Lee Sun-kyun’s Alleged Drug Scandal Lead to Tragedy? The Dark Side of Fame

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South Korean actor Lee Sun-kyun, renowned for his role in the Oscar-winning film “Parasite,” was discovered dead in an apparent suicide on Wednesday, according to reports from Yonhap news agency. The 48-year-old actor’s body was found inside a vehicle at a park in central Seoul.

Lee had recently come under investigation by the police for his alleged use of marijuana and other psychoactive drugs. This scandal resulted in the actor facing professional repercussions, with reports suggesting that he was dropped from television and commercial projects.

Once celebrated for his wholesome image, Lee Sun-kyun, a graduate of South Korea’s prestigious Korea National University of Arts, made his acting debut in 2001. He garnered acclaim for his diverse roles, including a charismatic chef and a diligent architectural engineer facing marital challenges.

Internationally, Lee is best known for his portrayal of the wealthy and shallow patriarch in director Bong Joon-ho’s critically acclaimed 2019 film “Parasite,” which won four Academy Awards.

Despite the recent controversy, Lee’s most recent film, the horror flick “Sleep,” released this year, received critical acclaim and was featured in the Critics’ Week section at the Cannes Festival. The movie depicted Lee as a husband whose sleepwalking leads to horrifying consequences.

In late October, Lee addressed reporters before meeting with investigators, expressing sincere apologies for causing disappointment and pain to his family and the public. He acknowledged the gravity of the situation and expressed regret for his involvement in an “unpleasant incident.”

South Korea has stringent drug laws and even citizens who legally consume substances like marijuana abroad risk prosecution upon returning home. This year, President Yoon Suk Yeol advocated for stricter measures to eliminate drug traffickers, emphasizing the country’s commitment to being “drug-free.”

Lee Sun-kyun’s death comes amid ongoing investigations and public scrutiny. The actor had previously claimed that he was tricked into taking drugs by a bar hostess attempting to blackmail him, according to reports from Yonhap.

Survived by his wife, actress Jeon Hye-jin, and two sons, Lee’s sudden demise has sent shockwaves through the entertainment industry. The circumstances surrounding his death raise questions about the impact of legal issues and public scrutiny on individuals in the public eye.

As fans and the industry mourn the loss of a talented actor, concerns about mental health and the challenges faced by public figures are brought to the forefront. The tragic incident emphasizes the need for compassion and understanding in dealing with individuals navigating the complexities of fame and legal troubles.

Lee’s contributions to South Korean cinema, particularly his memorable role in “Parasite,” will be remembered by audiences worldwide. However, his untimely death serves as a stark reminder of the pressures faced by those in the public eye and the importance of addressing mental health concerns within the industry.

The investigation into Lee Sun-kyun’s alleged drug use adds another layer to the narrative, prompting reflection on the broader implications of legal consequences for celebrities and the potential toll it can take on their personal and professional lives.

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