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‘Parasite’ actor Lee Sun-kyun found dead amid investigation into drug allegations

Actor Lee Sun-kyun arrives at a metropolitan police office in Incheon, about 30 kilometers west of Seoul, for the third round of questioning on suspicion of drug use on December 23.

Actor Lee Sun-kyun of the Oscar-winning film “Parasite” was found dead in an apparent suicide Wednesday while under investigation for suspected drug use.

A man in his 40s was found unconscious in a car in a park in central Seoul at 10:30 a.m., and police later identified him as Lee. On the passenger seat was a charcoal briquette.

Police earlier received a report that Lee had left his home after writing a note similar to a suicide note and that his car was missing.

“As he was pronounced dead, he was not transported to hospital,” said a fire official.

Lee has undergone three rounds of police questioning on suspicion of using marijuana and other illegal drugs at the home of a hostess working at an upscale bar in Seoul’s Gangnam district several times since the start of this year, including last Saturday.

The actor claimed that the hostess tricked him into taking drugs and that he did not know what he was taking.

Lee tested negative in both the brief reagent test conducted during police investigations and the laboratory drug test conducted by the National Forensic Service last month.

The day before, Lee had submitted a request for a polygraph test to the Incheon Metropolitan Police Agency in charge of the investigation, asserting his innocence.

Lee rose to worldwide fame after “Parasite,” in which he played a leading role, won the Academy Awards in 2020.

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