South Korean singer and former KARA member Goo Hara has passed away at the age of 28.
According to reports, she was found dead at her home in Seoul’s Cheongdam-dong district by a friend at about 6pm today (Nov 24). Police are investigating the cause of death.
Hara’s Japanese agency, Production Ogi, released a statement saying that everything is still under investigation. They added that she appeared to be in good health and did not display any unusual behaviour when she performed at Zepp Tokyo on November 19.
Hara’s death comes just over a month after fellow K-pop idol Sulli was found dead in a suspected suicide. The two were known to be close friends, and Hara bid an emotional goodbye to Sulli in an Instagram Live session, apologising for not being able to attend the latter’s funeral as she was in Japan.
In May this year, Hara was hospitalised following a suicide attempt, months after she sued her ex-boyfriend, hairstylist Choi Jong Beom, for blackmailing her by threatening to release their sex tape. She regained consciousness two days later and subsequently began focusing on her career in Japan.
Following the news, several artistes announced that they will be cancelling or postponing their activities out of respect, including NCT 127, Park Jihoon, Mamamoo, and Jung Hae In. Netizens have also been paying their respects in the comments section of her last Instagram post, which consists of a selfie of her in bed with the caption “Good night”.
UPDATE (Nov 25): Police have released more information about Hara’s death at a press conference. According to their official statement, surveillance videos show that she reached home at 12.35am on November 24. No one else arrived at her residence until later that evening at 6pm, when her housekeeper discovered the body. The housekeeper was said to have checked up on Hara when she could not be contacted.
Police also shared that a handwritten note containing negative thoughts was discovered in the living room. They then confirmed that there was no foul play involved, and that Hara’s family and the prosecutors will decide whether or not to conduct an autopsy.
In the meantime, fans and the media may pay their respects to the late singer from 3pm today until midnight on November 27 at Hall 1 of Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital Funeral Hall, as announced by her agency. Hara’s family and friends will hold their own service at the Yonsei Severance Hospital Funeral Hall. The agency urged the public to respect their privacy and refrain from visiting the location of the private funeral.
Rest in peace, Hara.
If you or someone you know is having difficulties coping, here are some numbers to call:
Samaritans of Singapore: 1800-221-4444
Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-283-7019
CHAT @ *SCAPE: (+65) 6493 6500, (+65) 6493 6501
SAF Counselling Hotline: 1800-278-0022
Photos: Instagram/Goo Hara