PETALING JAYA: South Korean actress and pop singer U-Nee was found hanged in her home last Sunday.
The online version of the South Korean daily Chosun Ilbo reported that the 26-year-old singer’s grandmotherfound her body in her 22nd-floor apartment in Seo-gu, Incheon.
U-Nee is believed to have been suffering from depression.
U-Nee – real name Hur Youn, but who performed under the stage name Lee Hye-ryeon – became known to Malaysians when her pictures were mistakenly used for murdered Mongolian beauty Altantuya Shaaribuu.
The pictures were widely circulated via e-mail.
Several newspapers here and in Singapore ran the pictures but Altantuya’s father Shaaribuu Setev, when he was in Kuala Lumpur last year to help in police investigations, clarified that the pictures were not that of his daughter.
U-Nee’s 71-year-old grandmother, identified only as Lee, said she returned home from church to find her granddaughter hanging from a doorframe.
The artiste’s fans were surprised when they learned about the news as they were awaiting the release of her latest album Honey, due out on Feb 1.
South Korean police said neither a suicide note nor a will was found in U-Nee’s apartment and people close to her had testified that she had been suffering from depression.
U-Nee had allegedly posted her feelings of loneliness on her website earlier.
“I feel everything is empty. I am again walking down a path to reach a destination that I don’t know,” the posting said.
The singer-actress rose to fame under the name Lee Hye-ryeon after her debut in Korean KBS television drama Grown-ups Just Don’t Understand in 1996.
She also acted in the movie Seventeen in 1998 and later in television dramas Theme Game and Tears of the Dragon.
When she ventured into singing, she adopted the name U-Nee.
The daily claimed that U-Nee’s sexy dance moves and revealing attire made her a favourite pop star among teenagers across Asia.