South Korean theatre actor and former idol trainee Jeong Joong-ji has died of suicide aged 30, his mother tweeted on Tuesday (Sept 20).
He was a contestant on the second season of Produce 101, a talent competition to form a K-pop group.
The tweet reads: “This is Jeong Joong-ji’s mother. My son Jiji took his own life. I can’t put into words how I feel right now.”
Accompanying the tweet are two photos with the details of his funeral, as well as of his mother in a black hanbok holding his memorial portrait.
According to the photo, he died on Sept 9 just four days after his 30th birthday, and his memorial was held on Sept 11.
Joong-ji participated in the second season of Mnet's Produce 101 in 2017 as a trainee from Wayz Company and was eliminated in 64th place with 86,864 votes.
His entertainment career was marred by turmoil. With allegations of sexual harassment against him by a female acquaintance, Joong-ji claimed in July 2017 — following the finale of Produce 101 — that his agency was spreading the rumours for marketing purposes and “it ruined my life.”
He also accused in a lengthy Instagram post in November 2017 that he was bullied by Yoon Ji-sung, one of the winners of Produce 101 who became part of the K-pop boy band Wanna One.
He wrote that the backlash he was receiving was “making me feel suicidal so I'm leaving this long message" detailing the bullying.
His Instagram account has been deleted since.
Following Produce 101, Joong-ji acted in the plays Prison and Essence of Love. He also won the Hallyu Star Award for actors at the 2017 Hallyu Selection Organising Committee Awards.
- Samaritans of Singapore: 1800-221-4444
- Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-283-7019
- Care Corner Counselling Centre (Mandarin): 1800-353-5800
- Institute of Mental Health's Mental Health Helpline: 6389-2222
- Silver Ribbon: 6386-1928
- Shan You Counselling Centre (Mandarin): 6741-0078
- Fei Yue’s Online Counselling Service: www.eC2.sg
- Tinkle Friend (for primary school children): 1800-2744-788
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