A mourner pays tribute to the late Cho Sung-min, a former baseball player and ex-husband of the late actress Choi Jin-sil in a funeral hall at Korea University Anam Hospital in Seoul, Sunday. / Yonhap
By Kwon Mee-yoo
The unexpected suicide of Cho Sung-min, 39, former baseball player and ex-husband of the late actress Choi Jin-sil, caused deep sadness from people who were close or knew the late pitcher and the late actress.
Lee Young-ja, 45, a friend of the late Choi, told Yonhap News Agency that "My heart hurts so much that I cannot speak."
Others expressed condolence through social network services such as Twitter.
Actress Hong Eun-hui wrote on her Twitter, "Tragedy. It makes my heart ache to think of the wounds their children have to bear," while entertainer Hong Seok-chun said, "I overslept on Sunday and saw the news of Cho. (It reminds me of) Jin-sil and Jin-young. We sometimes feel like we want to die, but we shouldn't be defeated by such."
Singer Sol-bi expressed her regret saying, "It is even worse to put up with the loneliness after parting with someone. I will quietly pray for the surviving children and hope he rests in peace."
Many baseball players and coaching staff also mourned over the death of their colleague.
Jeong Min-chul, pitching coach for the Hanwha Eagles who went to university with the late Cho, said he sent and received text messages with Cho on New Year's Day and shed tears over his death.
Cho was found dead early Sunday morning and the police concluded Monday that Cho committee suicide by hanging himself after an autopsy. A funeral service will be held at 8:30 a.m. today at Korea University Anam Hospital. He will be cremated and the remains will be buried at the Bundang Sky Castle Memorial Park.
The two suicides in Choi's family rang alarm bells against malicious comments toward entertainers.
Choi killed herself in October 2008 and her brother Jin-young also committed suicide in March 2010. Choi was plagued by rumors that she was connected to a private loan that led actor Ahn Jae-hwan to also kill himself about a month earlier than her.
Choi's brother suffered depression after that.
The late Cho did not receive favorable comments when his former wife committed suicide. Cho married Choi in 2000 and had a son and a daughter, but divorced her in 2004. He was accused of seeking custody of their children in order to take control of their inheritance.