The K-Pop and J-Pop world lost another star as Goo Hara (KARA) was found dead this evening in her home.
Hara was found unconscious at her private residence at 6pm KST Sunday November 24, 2019 according to the Gangnam Police Department. Production Ogi, Hara’s Japanese agency, released a statement confirming the news following the discovery.
We are here to deliver tragic and unfortunate news.
Family members and friends of Goo Hara are deeply shocked and anxious at the moment.
Therefore, we earnestly request that you refrain from writing speculative articles and spreading rumors. In addition, we ask the media and fans to refrain from making condolence calls.
We apologize for conveying this sudden news, and we are sorry once again for requesting that [the media and fans] refrain from making condolence calls.
Currently, Hara’s cause of death is under investigation, so any news regarding manner of death is speculation at this point. Unlike in May, Hara did not post a goodbye message on Instagram, but her last update was a selfie that simply said “goodnight.”
View this post on Instagram
Hara, 28, was rescued from a suicide attempt in May of this year. She has been struggling with depression.
Since September 2018, Hara’s private life has been the subject of the media following a lawsuit she filed against her ex-boyfriend, Choi Jong-Bum, following abuse and allegations that he was going to release sexually exploitive videos of the idol. Choi, in-turn, alleged abuse happened against him as well. Hara and her legal team presented evidence showing Hara’s side and explained that his marks were due to her fighting back in self-defense. In August 2019, Choi received a suspended jail sentence for property damage, physical assault, unnecessary force, and blackmail after three trials. He was not found guilty of sexual assault regarding illegal video footage as the court ruled Hara was aware of the footage but did not ask for it to be deleted.
In September, Choi and his legal team filed an appeal of the judge’s ruling and asked for a lighter sentence. Prosecutors, in turn, wanted more sexual assault charges on the table. Because of the appeal, the court cases between Hara and Choi were still ongoing.
Since Hara’s passing on November 24, fans have trended #최종범_처벌 (punish Choi Jong-Bum) on social media.
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
Hara, who was an actress and singer in both South Korea and Japan, made her debut in 2008 as a member of the Korean girl group KARA after Sunghee departed. In 2009, she joined the cast of Invisible Youth, and debuted as an actress in 2011 when she starred as Da-hye in City Hunter. In 2015, Hara debuted as a solo artist with Alohara (Can You Feel It?) and the single “Choco Chip Cookies,” which was a collaboration with rapper Giriboy.
In June 2019, Hara signed an exclusive contract with Production Ogi and recently made her Japanese comeback with “Midnight Queen.”
In light of Hara’s passing, several celebrities canceled appearances, teasers, and other schedules out of respect. Many have shared words of sorrow, disbelief, and remembrance.
View this post on Instagram
Currently, Production Ogi is considering holding a private funeral for the fallen star.
“There is currently nothing that we can say right now, but we have plans to hold her funeral privately,” a representative said. “However, we must also consult Goo Hara’s parents and the bereaved family.”
We send out condolences to Hara’s friends, family, and labelmates during this difficult time.
An investigation into her death is still ongoing.