Fans and celebri­ties mourn death of K-pop star Sulli

The Korea Times - - PEOPLE -

Fans and fel­low per­form­ers on Tues­day mourned the death of a K-pop star who had long been the tar­get of on­line bul­ly­ing, some call­ing for greater men­tal health sup­port for those work­ing in the coun­try’s no­to­ri­ously com­pet­i­tive show busi­ness in­dus­try.

The body of Sulli, a for­mer mem­ber of top girl group f(x), was dis­cov­ered Mon­day by her man­ager at her home on the out­skirts of Seoul.

“There has been no ev­i­dence of an out­sider hav­ing bro­ken in, or any other crimes com­mit­ted by another per­son,” an of­fi­cial from Seong­nam Su­jeong Po­lice Agency told AFP.

“Sui­cide is among the pos­si­ble causes.”

Au­thor­i­ties said the 25-year-old had been suf­fer­ing from “se­vere de­pres­sion”.

South Korea has one of the world’s high­est rates of sui­cide which, ac­cord­ing to re­cent gov­ern­ment fig­ures, is among the top causes of death for those un­der 40.

“I wish I could hope for Sulli to be the last idol to die from sui­cide and men­tal ill­ness,” tweeted one fan.

“But know­ing how cruel so­ci­ety is, I can’t help but be afraid about who’s go­ing to be the next one.”

Be­neath the glitz and glam­our, the K-pop in­dus­try is known for its cut­throat com­pet­i­tive­ness, a lack of pri­vacy, on­line bul­ly­ing and re­lent­less pub­lic pres­sure to main­tain a whole­some im­age at all times and at any cost.

K-pop stars like Sulli are picked up by agen­cies at a young age — usu­ally in their early- or mid-teens — and their lives then taken over by gru­elling singing and danc­ing train­ing.

Taboos about men­tal ill­ness dis­suade many South Kore­ans from seek­ing help.

Sulli’s death echoes that of fel­low K-pop star Jonghyun, who took his life in 2017 af­ter bat­tling with de­pres­sion.

Both were mem­bers of the SM En­ter­tain­ment sta­ble, one of the coun­try’s big­gest tal­ent agen­cies.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Korea, Republic

© PressReader. All rights reserved.