AceShowbiz - South Korean actor Jo Min Ki passed away at 52 years old amid investigation into sexual harassment allegations against him. The actor was found dead on Friday, March 9 at approximately 9 P.M. local time in a storage room next to the basement parking garage of his apartment.
He was discovered by his wife, who then called the police. Emergency responders reportedly attempted to revive Jo Min Ki and he was rushed to the emergency room, but he was ultimately pronounced dead. Police say suicide is suspected since there's no evidence of foul play. Police are still investigating circumstances surrounding his death.
Following his passing, a wake for the actor is currently taking place at Konkuk University Hospital Funeral Home. Jo Min Ki's son, who's currently in the military for his mandatory duty, has reportedly come to the hospital to join his mother.
A representative for the actor's family said, "We're not in a situation where we can provide any official statements. The family is in deep sorrow that we couldn't even have a comprehensible conversation. The funeral procession will be carried out in private."
Jo Min Ki had been hit with sexual harassment allegations. After a former Cheongju University student came forward with the allegation on an online community on February 20, twenty other women gave their testimony to police saying they went through the same experience with the actor. The actor had apologized. He was scheduled for questioning on March 12 at the Chungbuk police station.
Meanwhile, Jo Min Ki's final handwritten letter which he wrote to address the sexual harassment allegations has been revealed. In the letter, he wrote, "Everything is my fault and my crime. I was surprised by it all, and as time passed by, it became increasingly difficult for me to bear. I became a cowardly person who evaded and denied the issue."
"I'm ashamed and feel sorry. During the past 7 years, I had no choice but to become a strict professor to my hoobaes who'd begun the difficult path of an actor," the letter continued to read. "Privately, I tried to let go of that strictness. I want to apologize from the bottom of my heart to the hoobaes who felt humiliated or ashamed in those situations."
"I'm both sorry to you and grateful that at least now I can repent about my arrogance and wrongdoings. Finally, I apologize to Cheongju University and the students of the theater department who are still devoting themselves sincerely to the art," he concluded.
Reporter Kang Il Hong also revealed his last phone conversation with the late actor, which took place 3 hours before he was found dead. "Apologizing to the victims was the first thing so he wasn't able to express his apologetic mind to his family yet. On today's call, he was especially sorry to his daughter," the reporter said.
Kang Il Hong also pointed out that Jo Min Ki had made phone calls to many of his colleagues to express his apology for disappointing them.