LOS ANGELES – Korean pop star Sulli was found dead at her home near Seoul on Monday. She was 25.
Her manager found her body and alerted the police.
The manager reported that the star, whose real name was Choi Jin-ri, suffered from depression, and police said that they were working on the assumption that she had died by suicide. Initial investigations found no sign of foul play but also no suicide note.
Sulli, who initially debuted as a child actress in 2005, rose to fame as a member of the K-pop girl band f(x) under the management of South Korea’s top agency, SM Entertainment. She had held down both her singing and acting jobs until 2014, when she complained of severe cyber-bullying and online misinformation. The following year she quit the band and focused primarily on acting.
She had the lead role in 2017 film “Real” and in “Pirates.” She recently shot TV show “Hotel Del Luna” for tvN, and was attached to “Persona” for Netflix.
Sulli, who maintained a sexy and outspoken image, often found herself the target of online abuse. She was a close friend of Jonghyun, another K-pop icon, who killed himself in December 2017.
Her most recent media appearance was her emcee role in a TV show, “The Night of Hate Comments.” The program invites stars and celebrities who have suffered cyber-bullying to talk about their experiences. Sulli was scheduled to record the show Monday. JTBC, the show’s broadcaster, said in a statement that it would go ahead with the recording as scheduled.
Social media was quickly alight with the news of her death. “Sulli’s death shouldn’t be reported as a suicide but murder,” one fan tweeted, adding that the pop star “was attacked constantly” and “there’s only so much a person can take. May angels lead her & take her to the stars where she can stay forever shining and happy.”
Others did not hesitate to link Sulli’s death to Jonghyun’s. “You’re in a better place now Sulli with Jonghyun. I hope both of u found the happiness you deserve in heaven,” another fan wrote.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.