3) Jang Ja Yeon (1980-2009)
Ja Yeon’s parents died in 1999 in a traffic accident so she lived with her brother and sister. She was also diagnosed with clinical depression. Despite her mental and familial beefs Ja Yeon became a successful actress in a popular KBS TV drama called “Boys Over Flowers”. But fame and money can’t sort out mental problems unfortunately. She was found hanged at home from a stairway bannister on 7th March 2009.
Earlier in the day she’d spoken to her sister who had listened to her pronounce that she was under “overwhelming pressure” and “wanted to die”.
Ja Yeon left a 7 page suicide note which laid out the reasons for switching her own lights out. According to Ja Yeon’s note, her agent Kim Sung-Hoon had beaten her and forced her to have sex with VIPs, directors, media executives and CEOs.
Kim denied these charges but a full police investigation was carried out. Seven people were eventually prosecuted and Kim himself got a year in prison, two years probation and 160 hours community service. That all seems a little lenient for a man that basically pimped out his client and pushed her over the edge of sanity. South Korea is weighted heavily on the side of the male still. New money, old values.
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