Choi Jin-ri, who is better known as Sulli, is dead at the age of 25, police confirmed on Oct. 14. She was found by her manager around 3:20 p.m. local time. The manager had gone to Sulli’s home to check on her after not hearing from her for more than 20 hours, following a phone call the previous night at 6:30 p.m. local time. “We received the report of her death at about 3:20 p.m.,” the Seongnam Fire Station confirmed. “She had already passed away when we arrived on scene.” Police are continuing to investigate Sulli’s cause of death and are “working under the assumption that she may have taken her own life, according to Variety.
Sulli began her entertainment career as an actress in 2005. She starred as Princess Seonhwa of Silla in Ballad of Seodong. She eventually became a trainee at SM Entertainment, and officially debuted as a member of the girl group f(x) in Sept. 2009. However, by 2014, fame had begun to take a toll on Sulli, and she went on hiatus from the entertainment industry after suffering physical and mental exhaustion. One year later, she officially withdrew from f(x), and did not return to music until 2018. She debuted as a solo artist in June 2019. During her music hiatus, she continued to work as an actress.
Fans are understandably devastated over the loss of Sulli, and are blaming cyberbullies for possibly leading the 25-year-old to commit suicide. One fan re-posted a video from Sulli’s last Instagram Live, in which she said, “I am not a bad person. I’m sorry. Why are you saying bad things about me? What did I do to deserve this?” Sulli’s loyal supporters are begging SM Entertainment to “start taking mental health more seriously” after this tragic loss.
Sulli was close friends with fellow K-pop star, Jonghyun, who died of a possible suicide in December 2017, and many fans are finding some solace in the hopes that the the two are together once again. “Rest in peace, Sulli,” someone wrote. “I hope you (and Jonghyun) finally found your genuine happiness.”