As fans mourn the loss of South Korean K-Pop star and actor Goo Hara, Australian television presenter Andy Trieu says the celebrity’s death is “terrible” news but “fans are trying to remain positive” and remember the singer for the great artist she was.
“Because she was in the K-pop scene for a long time, she was very well respected,” SBS PopAsia host Trieu told HuffPost Australia.
Goo Hara was found dead at her home in Seoul on Sunday, according to police. She was 28.
The singer was formerly a member of the popular group Kara and appeared in a number of South Korean television shows. Further details about her death have not been made public, according to The Associated Press.
In October K-Pop star Sulli was found dead in her home in South Korea, while fellow musician Kim Dong-yoon died at age 20 in 2018.
“This is the third K-pop death in two years,” said Trieu.
Having worked at SBS PopAsia as a host for the past six years interviewing many big names in K-Pop, Trieu said he’s been able to see the strong connection artists and fans share in that cultural music space.
He said that following Goo Hara’s death, “many K-pop fans have come together to mourn” as “they are kind of like a big family that do bound together”.
“They are also worried about current K-pop idols’ mental health, the effects of online bullying, and what entertainment companies can do,” he said, referring to the high-pressure nature of the industry.
Over the past year, Goo was at the centre of a legal conflict in which she accused an ex-boyfriend, Choi Jong Bum, of assault, and claimed he took intimate photos of her without her permission.
A court reportedly found Choi guilty of destruction of property, assault, intimidation and blackmail, and sentenced him to 18 months in prison with three years of probation. The case, seen by many in South Korea as an occurrence of “revenge porn,” prompted discussion of oppressive patriarchal systems in Asia and drew comparisons to the Me Too movement in other countries. The ensuing discussions saw Goo victimised by malicious attacks online and in tabloids.
Goo had been found unconscious in May after a reported suicide attempt. On Saturday evening, she posted an Instagram picture of herself in bed, with a caption translating to “good night.”
With additional reporting by Ja’han Jones.
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