By Bae Hyun-jung
The 39-year-old Choi Jin-young, actor and younger brother of the late actress Choi Jin-sil, committed suicide by hanging himself, said police officials yesterday.
“There were no signs of a break-in or violence whatsoever,” said an official of the Gangnam Police Station.
“Though Choi did not leave any suicide notes, he obviously committed suicide, caused by mental depression.”
The police decided not to carry out an autopsy on him, as was the wish of his family, said officials.
The actor was found on Monday afternoon, having hanged himself with an electric wire in the attic at his home in Nonhyeon-dong, southern Seoul.
He was moved to a nearby hospital but was dead by the time he got there, said hospital officials.
Choi has been experiencing serious depression recently but has refused to undergo professional treatment, according to family members and friends. He was largely reliant on sleeping pills and often complained about his career slump as an actor.
He also refused to attend his classes in the Department of Theater and Film in Hanyang University, which he joined as a freshman last year.
Choi has been experiencing such distresses since the death of his elder sister and the nation’s star actress Choi Jin-sil who also committed suicide in October 2008, according to his family.
He earlier attempted to commit suicide by taking an overdose of pills last year, according to a close acquaintance. He survived after having his stomach washed out but continued to suffer from mental depression.
He also threatened over several times to hang himself, said officials.
“His late sister has always been an intimate friend and acting mentor to him,” said an acquaintance.
“Her suicide and the consequences must have left him hollow.”
The elder Choi had suffered from the suicide of close friend and actor Ahn Jae-hwan and the online rumors that she was involved in his death.
The two children of his sister, for who Choi has been acting as patron, will be left under the custody of their grandmother. Their father, former baseball star Cho Sung-min transferred all his parental rights to her late in 2008.