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Posted : 2008-10-08 17:52
Updated : 2008-10-08 17:52

Gay Actor Found Dead in Apparent Suicide


Actor Kim Ji-hoo
By Park Si-soo
Staff Reporter

Actor Kim Ji-who was found dead in his house in an apparent suicide, police said Wednesday, the fourth suicide by an entertainer in just one month.

Songpa Police Station confirmed the 23-year-old hung himself at his home in Jamsil, southern Seoul, Monday.

Police said they found a suicide note at the scene, saying, ``I'm lonely and in a difficult situation. Please cremate my body.''

Kim's death is the latest in a series of suicides. Transsexual entertainer Jang Chae-won hung herself in the bathroom of her home on Friday, following the deaths of actor Ahn Jae-hwan and actress Choi Jin-sil.

``Given the note and testimony from his family members, we believe he apparently committed suicide,'' a police officer said.

Police said his suicide reflects public prejudice toward gay people and their difficulty in succeeding in the entertainment industry.

Following the announcement of his sexual orientation, Kim's management agency did not renew his contract and many TV programs and fashion shows cancelled his appearances. His blog was bombarded with numerous messages denouncing his sexual orientation.

``He underwent many professional and personal difficulties following his coming-out,'' Kim's mother said during police questioning.

Hong Seok-chun, Kim's aide and also homosexual, said, ``Like me, he suffered from numerous discriminations against him.''

Born in 1985, Kim made his debut as a fashion model last year and appeared in some soap operas this year.

pss@koreatimes.co.kr

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