Bong Joon-ho calls for probe into police after 'Parasite' co-star Lee Sun-kyun’s death

The cast and director of ‘Parasite’ at the 26th Screen Actors Guild Awards. Picture: Reuters

The cast and director of ‘Parasite’ at the 26th Screen Actors Guild Awards. Picture: Reuters

Published Jan 14, 2024


Bong Joon-ho has called for an investigation into the police after 'Parasite' actor Lee Sun-kyun’s death.

The 48-year-old actor - who had been questioned by police over suspected drug use - was found dead in his car at a park in Seoul on December 27 in an apparent suicide and 'Parasite' director Bong Joon-ho is leading the call for an investigation into leaks from the police to the media about the drug case.

Joon-ho has joined forces with a number of influential figures in South Korea’s entertainment industry to create the Association of Solidarity of Cultural Artists and said in a recent press conference: "Throughout the two months, from the initial leak of internal information regarding the deceased’s investigation to the time of his death, we urge a thorough investigation by the authorities to ascertain whether there were any lapses in police investigative security.

“We request a thorough investigation to determine if there were any unlawful media responses during the investigation.”

Actor Song Kang-ho and Kim Dong-ho, the former chairman of Busan International Film Festival, also attended the conference and showed their support.

Sun-kyun was found dead in his car one day after he spent 19 hours being questioned by police over his alleged use of marijuana and psychoactive drugs.

According to South Korean news agency Yonhap, Sun-kyun’s wife Jeon Hye-jin alerted police to what appeared to be a suicide note she had found from her husband

It has been reported he may have died from carbon monoxide poisoning – with officials also saying no autopsy was performed on him.

They said the examination was not carried out as per Sun-kyun’s family’s wishes.

A private funeral was held at the Seoul National University Hospital last month, and was attended by many of the actor’s colleagues, including Gong Hyo-jin, Ryu Seung-ryong and Lee Sung-min.

Sun-kyun reportedly begged police not to announce his last appearance for questioning over an alleged blackmail plot days before his apparent suicide.

His death came as cops were quizzing him over allegations of illegal drug use, accused of using marijuana and other substances at the home of a hostess from a local bar – though he insisted she had tricked him into taking the drugs and he had no idea what he was taking, and insisted she had tried to blackmail him.

The Daily Mail reported Sun-kyun’s lawyer asked police to close the latest questioning round over the incident to the media, but police rejected the request.