South Korean singer and actress Goo Hara was found dead in her home in Cheongdam on Sunday. She was part of the beginning of the K-pop wave where she debuted with KARA, the Korean girl group, in 2008. The 28-year-old was continuing her solo career after the disbanding of the group.
The police told Yonhap news agency that they are still looking into the exact cause for the death of Goo Hara, while suicide remained a possibility. Earlier in May, Goo was found unconscious by her manager. She later apologized to her fans saying that she was in agony over various issues in her life.
Last year, after the breakup with her ex-boyfriend, Choi Jung-bum, she was blackmailed and harassed by Choi. He said that he would leak the intimate video and CCTV footage of her begging to not release the videos. He was later convicted of various crimes including blackmail and was given suspended jail time.
Abusive comments online
After the incident, the star continued to receive abusive comments online and on Sunday before her body was found she was targeted with hate comments about her appearance and on her history with her ex.
Her death brought together an online petition to the Presidential office which requested stronger punishments over cyberbullying and other cyber crimes. In less than a day, there were 20,000 signatures.
The recent figures show the high rate of suicide in South Korea which has cost the lives of many under the age of 40. The many pressures of the K-pop industry have been a topic of discussion in the past couple of years. With the recent death of Sulli and now Goo Ha-Ra the debate with regard to cybercrimes has changed as well.
Pressures of being a celebrity
Earlier this year, Goo had spoken about the depression she had because of various reasons and the continuous abusive comments that have followed her since last year. She also mentioned about the pressures of being a celebrity and the difficulties that came with it.
With the possibility of abusive online comments as a reason for another star's death, fans are looking forward to the petition bringing about a difference in the cybercrime punishments.