South Korean singer and actress Goo Hara has apologized to fans after being found unconscious at home, reigniting debate about the intense pressure on the country’s K-pop superstars.
The singer, who was once part of the South Korean girl band Kara, had posted the word, “Goodbye,” to her Instagram account, prompting a rush of comments from concerned fans. She later deleted the post.
Goo was discovered unconscious at her home in Seoul’s fashionable Gangnam district shortly after midnight Sunday (26.05.19) and was rushed to the hospital the city’s Metropolitan Police Agency said according to CNN.
On Tuesday (28.05.19), Goo addressed the reports, apologizing for causing concern to everyone and causing a commotion. “I’m recovering. Many things overlapped and I had been suffering. But I’ll steel myself and work to show you my healthy self,” she reportedly said.
Since last September, Goo has been embroiled in a public dispute with her former boyfriend Choi Jong-bum. She has accused Choi of blackmailing her by threatening to release video of them having sex, according to the prosecutor’s office. Choi has denied the claims and she had been due to testify against him in court later this week.
Goo is not the first K-pop star to suffer from the pressures of a high-profile career. Jonghyun of K-pop group Shinee killed himself in December 2017 after bouts of depression.
In his final message to his friend he wrote: “I’m broken inside … I’m completely alone … I wanted someone to notice but no one knew. They haven’t met me so of course, they don’t know that I even exist.”
Brian Joo, a K-pop star and former member of the group FlyToTheSky, told CNN in 2017 that he had suffered from depression but had found trouble seeking help. In 2018, Joo posted on his Instagram account screenshots of malicious messages he had received.
The South Korean public has largely been sympathetic to Goo’s move to take her former boyfriend to court. The saga has played out against the backdrop of calls for greater gender equality through the #metoo campaign and #mylifeisnotyourporn, a hashtag that calls for an end to the illegal filming and distribution of sex tapes.
Prosecutors indicted Choi in January 2019 on charges of illegal filming, coercion, and assault. His trial was scheduled for Thursday (30.05.19) but is now expected to be delayed after Goo’s hospitalisation.