Super Junior fans give Leeteuk space to grieve

Super Junior fans give Leeteuk space to grieve

K-pop fans may pull out all the stops when it comes to getting a glimpse of their favourite stars, but Super Junior fans worldwide are giving the boyband's leader Leeteuk (right) space to grieve privately. News of the deaths of Leeteuk's father and grandparents surfaced on Monday. It was initially reported to be a fatal car accident, but was later classified as a murder-suicide.

Leeteuk, 30, whose real name is Park Jung Soo and who is currently serving his mandatory military service, took leave to attend the funeral that took place yesterday.

Fans whom Life! spoke to in Singapore were shocked by the tragic news. They are choosing to support him on social media by circulating posts on Twitter and Instagram with hashtags, such as #staystrong parkjungsoo.

Ms Debra Chang, 29, a Korean language student who is studying in Seoul, says: "As fans, the best we can and should do is to let the family grieve in peace and also offer messages of support on Twitter."

Another fan, Ms Sarah Daud, 22, an English Literature undergraduate from Nanyang Technological University, says that Super Junior supporters should refrain from posting photos of the funeral or "making wild guesses".

She adds: "As much as Leeteuk is an idol, what happened was a personal tragedy and there's really nothing to be gained from disseminating his grief."

Some fans are thinking of making a video collage and posting it online to show their support for Leeteuk, says Secondary 4 student Siti Aisyah, 16, who is an administrator of a Singapore-based Super Junior fansite called SJELFSSG.

The Korean Herald reported on Tuesday night that police officials have announced that they are currently investigating the deaths in Leeteuk's family, which occurred late on Sunday night.

On Monday night, officials from the star's agency, SM Entertainment, announced that the family members had been killed in a car accident in an apparent attempt to protect the entertainer from bad publicity, added the Korean daily.

The bodies were reportedly discovered by a relative in their apartment in Shindaebang-dong, in the south-western part of Seoul.

The newspaper also said Leeteuk's 57-year-old father, referred to only by his family name Park, suffered from depression following his divorce a few years ago. He was the sole caregiver of his father, 84, and mother, 79, who both had Alzheimer's disease.

Ms Sarah says: "It is my hope that this incident may spark a discourse about mental illnesses in South Korea. There is a stigma attached to it and it's not treated as a serious condition, so people tend to shy away from seeking help."

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