K-Pop Star Goo Hara Dies by Suspected Suicide at 28
K-pop star Koo HaRa (known as Goo Hara) died at the age of 28 on Sunday in South Korea. According to the New York Times, police suspect Hara died by suicide after they found a note that expressed “despair” at her residence. Hara was previously hospitalized for a suicide attempt in May.
Hara is best known as a founding member of the K-pop girl group Kara, which was founded in 2007. After the group disbanded, Hara released her first solo EP in 2015. She was best friends with fellow K-pop star Sulli, according to the New York Times. Sulli died by suicide in October.
Like Sulli, Hara frequently posted about the abuse she received online, highlighting the high-pressure world K-pop stars live in. Lead singer of the K-pop band SHINee Jonghyun died by suicide in 2017. K-pop stars like BTS’ Suga and RM and Super Junior’s Leeteuk and Heechul started speaking up about mental health to raise awareness, according to Billboard.
Related: Watching the Midseason Finale of ‘A Million Little Things’ With Suicidal Thoughts
According to Billboard, Hara was also blackmailed by an ex-boyfriend who threatened to release a sex tape, another pressure Korean women in particular face, especially those in the public eye.
“Korean women find it more and more difficult to report crimes as victims because they see female artists facing even greater backlashes & trauma because how the public, police and the justice system respond to sexual assault, and that sends a clear message to all women in Korea,” Bloomberg writer Jihye Lee wrote on Twitter.
Korean women find it more and more difficult to report crimes as victims because they see female artists facing even greater backlashes & trauma because how the public, police and the justice system respond to sexual assault, and that sends a clear message to all women in Korea.
— Jihye Lee 이지혜 (@TheJihyeLee) November 24, 2019
Related: What Happened When Suicidal Thoughts Interrupted My Mindfulness Visualization
Fans and colleagues reacted to Hara’s death on social media and shared condolences.
Rest in peace, Hara. I am so saddened and heartbroken by this loss. We can't afford any more of these beautiful souls to leave us. We just can't.
A post shared by soy kim 소이김소이김소연 (@soy_weird) on Nov 24, 2019 at 3:27am PST
활동할 당시 회사 직속 선배로써 우리의 자랑이었고 선망의 대상이었습니다 고마웠습니다 삼가 고인의 명복을 빕니다
A post shared by 도우 ドウ DoWoo (@ddow88) on Nov 24, 2019 at 3:49am PST
A post shared by 한예슬 (@han_ye_seul_) on Nov 24, 2019 at 5:25am PST
친구 지만 선배처럼 연락해서 무언갈 물어보면 자꾸 뭘 도와줄려하고 뭘 자꾸 해줄려 했던 따뜻한 사람 얼마전까지 아무렇지않게 통화했는데 갑자기 이래서 너무 당황스럽다.. 행복했으면 좋겠다 진짜
A post shared by 기리보이 WYBH (@giriboy91) on Nov 24, 2019 at 6:14am PST
Related: The Intense Emotional Pain That Comes With Losing a Loved One to Suicide
오늘 또 해 가 졌네….. 휴….. 우리 아이들 도 지켜야 하지만 우리 아이돌 들도 지켜야 해… 누군가 널위해서 항상 기도 한다는걸… 잊지마…. RIP….
A post shared by 가희. Kahi Jiyoung Park (@kahi_korea) on Nov 24, 2019 at 4:31am PST
A post shared by Tae Hyun Nam (@souththth) on Nov 25, 2019 at 2:23am PST
이제 아프지말아요 pic.twitter.com/aXzGX3jIBw
— A-JAX 승진 (@Ajax_SJ94) November 25, 2019
하라야 내가 점점 주목받기 시작할 때 넌 날 걱정해주면서 힘들면 연락하라고 했었는데. 넌 참 아름답고 빛났어 근데 내가 아무것도 해준 게 없고 아무 도움이 못돼서 미안해. 정말 미안하다. 내가 조금이라도 도움을 줬어야 하는데 정말 미안해. 너무 화가 나고 너무 진짜 세상이 미운데 꼭 행복하기를 바랄게 그곳에서는. 미안해. 고마워.
A post shared by DINDIN 딘딘 (@dindinem) on Nov 24, 2019 at 5:26am PST
Rest in Peace #GOOHARA, a true multitalented South Korean Star! ❤️???????? pic.twitter.com/rJeQHLf9mD
— World Music Awards (@WORLDMUSICAWARD) November 25, 2019
If this news is hard for you, know you are not alone — and there is help for people who feel suicidal. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.
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We Need to Talk About Suicide and the LGBTQIA+ Population
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