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[Newsmaker] Actor Ha Jung-woo denies illegal drug use

Actor Ha Jung-woo (Yonhap)
Actor Ha Jung-woo (Yonhap)

Actor Ha Jung-woo on Tuesday denied all accusations that he had illegally taken the anesthetic propofol at a plastic surgery clinic in Gangnam, Seoul.

Propofol is a short-acting anesthetic that is highly addictive. Plastic surgery clinics normally administer it to patients undergoing surgery.

The news first broke last Thursday when a local news outlet reported that prosecutors were looking into about 10 people suspected of abusing drugs, including a famous actor.

Although Ha’s name was not mentioned in the report, rumors spread that he was on the list. On Friday another news outlet reported that the actor had received treatment at the clinic under his brother’s name.

The actor’s agency, the Walk House Company, issued an official denial on Tuesday of any illegal drug use by the actor.

“Ha received strong laser treatment (for scars on his face) about 10 times between January and September in 2019. He was put to sleep when receiving the treatment based on the doctor’s decision,” the agent said in a statement. It also added that Ha had stopped visiting the doctor this past fall.

Concerning the allegation that Ha used the name of his brother Kim Young-hoon when getting the treatment, the agent declined to confirm details. “As stated on our official statement, we can only confirm that the doctor asked Ha to provide information about his brother, who is the CEO of Walk House Company and Ha’s manager. However, at the moment we are unable to answer questions concerning who actually provided the information and how it was used,” agency spokesperson Seo Kang-joon told The Korea Herald on Wednesday.

The agency also said it would cooperate with prosecutors and provide all necessary texts and evidence to prove that Ha is not guilty.

Meanwhile, “The Closet,” an occult horror film starring Ha, came out Feb. 5. According to the Korean Film Council, over 1.19 million people had seen it in South Korea as of Tuesday.

By Song Seung-hyun (ssh@heraldcorp.com)
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