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K-Pop Star Goo Hara Dies by Suspected Suicide at 28

Editor's Note

If you experience suicidal thoughts or have lost someone to suicide, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

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.

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.

Fans and colleagues reacted to Hara’s death on social media and shared condolences.

View this post on Instagram

Breaks my heart RIP

A post shared by 한예슬 (@han_ye_seul_) on

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.

Header image via Goo Hara’s Instagram

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