Actor Lee Sun-kyun booked for investigation over suspected drug use

October 23, 2023

Actor Lee Sun-kyun from the Oscar-winning movie “Parasite” was booked Monday for investigation on charges of using illegal drugs.

The Incheon Metropolitan Police Agency booked Lee on charges, including marijuana use, and turned his status into that of a suspect, officials said.

The move came after the police had been conducting an internal investigation into eight people, including Lee, a third-generation scion of a family-owned conglomerate, and a would-be entertainer, on charges of using illegal drugs on multiple occasions in their homes or nightclubs in Seoul’s Gangnam district this year.

Over the weekend, two of them — both nightclub hostesses — were either booked or arrested on drug charges.

Lee is suspected of using marijuana and other illegal drugs at one of the two women’s homes in Seoul on multiple occasions since early this year.

The police learned about Lee’s suspected drug use during an investigation prompted by a tipoff about illegal drug circulation in Gangnam nightclubs last month.

The police are expected to summon the actor in the coming days for questioning.

Talking to Yonhap News Agency over the phone earlier in the day, Lee’s lawyer quoted the actor as saying that he doesn’t personally know the scion or the would-be entertainer, a claim that rejects speculation that they might have spent time together using drugs.

Asked whether Lee is admitting or denying the suspicion of drug use, the lawyer said, “It’s difficult to speak yet,” adding Lee “will cooperate with the police investigation sincerely.”

Lee’s management agency had also said the actor filed a complaint of blackmail with the police against another person involved in the drug case, claiming he had been extorted out of hundreds of thousands of dollars through blackmail.

The lawyer explained that the actor wasn’t aware of the number or the identities of the blackmailer, including whether there was a single person or two involved.

Veteran actor Lee, 48, starred in “Helpless” (2012), “All About My Wife” (2012) and “A Hard Day” (2014). He won a Screen Actors Guild Award with his cast mates for his role in “Parasite,” directed by Bong Joon-ho.

This image of actor Lee Sun-kyun is provided by CJ ENM (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)
This image of actor Lee Sun-kyun is provided by CJ ENM (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)