Celebrity News
Ahn Jae-hwan found dead in apparent suicide
by | September 8, 2008 | 65 Comments

Sigh. So 2008’s really not been a good year for the celebs.

Actor Ahn Jae-hwan (Secret Lovers, Entertainment News), 36, was found dead on the morning of September 8 in his car. The death has been tentatively ruled a suicide.

Apparently, the body was found to have been “severely decomposed,” indicating that the suicide occurred prior to the 8th, although the actual time of death has yet to be determined. Preliminary speculation ranges from one week to a month prior. Charcoal briquettes were found burned inside the vehicle, possibly contributing to cause of death.

Still a newlywed, Ahn married comedienne-actress Jung Sun-hee in November of 2007. A suicide note expressing his love for his wife was found at the site of his death.

Netizens are speculating on what drove Ahn to suicide. Some blame the failure of his new cosmetics brand, which Ahn had launched via home shopping television earlier this year. As a result of wife Jung speaking out about the mad-cow vigils back in April, sales dropped. Further broadcasts were canceled and the brand experienced drastic sales drops, with some viewers boycotting the channel. (As a result, the current internet response is heated, with some netizens lashing out at others, asking, “Do you feel better now, you hateful netizens?”)

There were also rumors that Ahn, because of money issues, had been in discord with his wife for several months.

Pictures of the car have been published, and because they are somewhat unsettling (WARNING!), I’m putting them behind the cut.


Wife Jung Sun-hee

Via Edaily, Asia Economy

65 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Serom

    All these deaths happening lately [and not only in Korea] are getting to be really freaky. And not that his death is any less important than anyone else’s, but I’m glad that this time I’m not familiar with the celebrity.


  2. ed

    i was in shocked disbelief reading about this in casual convo. then seeing his picture…yes it’s the host from ETN news! so sad, and painful to see a bubbly guy end this way. how come they didn’t search for him during those missing weeks? there’s a big business opp here, and that’s counseling and mental health clinic…sigh. poor woman. prayers for them both.

  3. hee-jung

    was jung sun-hee speaking out against the vigils or for them?

    either way, that’s just horrible…

  4. jjbb

    what? omg I’m shocked! this is so awful! omg poor Jung Sun-hee, she must be so devastated. I don’t know what to say… a week to a month? ….omg… and I was so happy for JSH when she got married… oh man… I’m so sorry this happned

  5. serendipity

    Wow. You did warn us, but what astonishingly graphic photographs. I guess in principle people who make a living out of being celebrities and courting publicity (I speak generally; I’m not suggesting that this man was particularly publicity-seeking) can’t always have it their way and get to dictate where the line is drawn and the veil discretely drawn over sordid tragedy. Though, personally, I feel that whoever first put those photographs in the public domain crossed some kind of good-manners line. But then, who am I to throw stones? I did voluntarily click to look at the photos.

  6. Anonymous

    wow. that it ridiculous that the media took a picture of jung sun hee on a stretcher and shared it with the entire world. but yeah it really isn’t too much for the korean media who attend funerals and take pics of those grieving. sad news nonetheless, when ever he was on tv he was always looking cheerful and to pass away like this is kind of unexplainable to me. i just hope that jung sun hee takes care of herself and not add more to this and may ahn jae hwan RIP.

  7. Anonymous

    actually there’s been the same incident of this suicide method that happened quite recently in our school… he sealed off a room and lighted up the charcoal so that he’d suffocate from carbon monoxide poisioning… it’s quite disturbing and saddening if you really think about it that people can come to a point where they’d lose hope all together… in any case my prayers are with him and his loved ones… may he rest in peace…

  8. Anonymous

    ahm still the same person sorry i forgot to include it with my previous post… just wanted to ask if entertainment news is the one aired in KBS which talks about the latest news on k-showbusiness… is he the main host or just one of the anchors?

  9. Anonymous

    my remark could be misplaced but it’s astonishing that his body wasn’t found earlier when you see where the car was parked. were the windows totally tainted ?

  10. 10 Serena

    that’s so sad! πŸ™

  11. 11 Lim

    Hi I’m an Korean and really his fan.
    It was always good looking at them smiling cheerfully always
    and I’m really sad to think that Jung Sun-hee’s smile would perish
    I hope she could stand up again.

    μ•ˆμž¬ν™˜μ”¨ νŽΈμ•ˆνžˆ κ°€μ„Έμš”.
    고인의 λͺ…볡을 λΉ•λ‹ˆλ‹€.

  12. 12 ginnie

    The picture of Jung Sun Hee is sad and disturbing that it was photographed….

    Jung Sun-hee – I hope she can heal and mourn in peace. She’s always so happy and funny on screen….sigh….

  13. 13 incarnadine

    This is just…. heartbreaking.
    I am at a loss for words really… seeing their happy and cheerful pics alongside gruesome pics of the site of death is just morbid.


    I hope Sun Hee gets through this in one piece, eventually. Be strong, Sun Hee. May Ahn Jae Hwan’s soul finally rest in peace.

  14. 14 aussie gal loves K drama

    oh my goodness… that is such sad news. My prayers go out to the grieving family…

  15. 15 Emma C

    I’m not familiar with Ahn Jae-Hwan but I think I’ve seen his wife alot on TV. I know that life can be a real b**** some times and that some times it seems like death is the only solution, but I think suicide is kinda selfish especially if you have family and/or children – you don’t think of the people you leave behind and what they have to go through without you. That being said, I am sorry to hear that he felt that he didn’t have anything to live for. I hope that his wife and other members of his family and friends recover from this tragedy soon.

  16. 16 WhatweSaw

    I can’t say I remember him but it is always sad when a person gives up. I pray for his family

  17. 17 The stranger

    They always looked so happy together…this is devastating and scary.

    RIP Ahn Hae Hwan.

    I pray that Jung Sun Hee and friends will find comfort and strength to move on.

  18. 18 varms

    I’ll never understand how some ppl can be depressed enough to commit suicide… My sincerest condolences to the family.

  19. 19 o-cha

    This really breaks my heart.

    I can’t even imagine what Jung Sun Hee and the rest of his family must feel right now.

    I still remember their joyous wedding day. I can’t believe he’s gone now.

    May he rest in peace and may the family that he left behind find comfort and strength during this difficult time.

  20. 20 SK

    This is just too gruesome for words. The pictures, the circumstances that led to his death…

    I’m not familiar with Ahn, but my heart goes out to Jung Sun-hee & his parents. She’s always struck me as a very smart, strong & level-headed person, but this is beyond even Atlas. I can only hope the family can draw strength from their loved ones, friends, fans & well-wishers.

  21. 21 buttercup

    how could he have been dead one week to a month? didn’t anyone notice he was missing??? how can a dead body be sitting in a burned car for so long and no one noticed it until the 8th? i don’t understand any of this. in america, the wife would immediately be suspect for not reporting the man missing.

  22. 22 phiphi

    I don’t personally know this couple but feel very sad about the news

    It seems like celebs in Korea tends to resource to suicide when they face hardship/turbulent times (or is it because Korean neztizens/fans are much more brutal/harsh toward their celebs?)

    While other people are fighting for their lives, taking one’s own life is very sad.
    It’s never easy for the loved one who are left behind.

    I hope the media will give his wife some private to mourn her big lost.

  23. 23 asianromance

    RIP. I feel really sad for Jung Sun-hee-they weren’t even married a whole year yet- and his parents. I felt like all the hardships he had, he couldn’t have gotten through together with his wife and family. Another celebrity death- I feel bad for all those who knew all the celebrities who died this year and attended their funerals- this must be like funeral number 4 or 5.

  24. 24 Sue

    one week to one month???

    whatever the case may be, rest in peace.

  25. 25 jjbb

    To Emma C:

    To an average person suicide may seem kinda selfish, but normal, happy people don’t commit suicide….he was obviously clinically depressed. As “selfish” as it may appear, the person who committed suicide is so depressed they aren’t in their right minds (Just think, the average person in their right mind wouldn’t kill) and honestly feel that the world would be better without them burdening others. Many people believe that those who commit suicide weren’t thinking about their families, but we need to think from their perspective and understand that they were sick and truly believed their leaving was their way of alleviating their families from more stress and unhappiness. If those who committed suicide truly never thought of those they left behind, why would they leave a suicide note? Why would they write directly to their loved ones? Believe it or not, they were thinking about them… and believe it or not, when they were alive they probably thought about them (and what they felt was best for them – how they could “take care of them” in their own way) all the time. Consumed by their depression, yes. But selfish, no.

    I think it’s easy for outsiders to just look down on people who’ve committed suicide and say “selfish selfish selfish” instead of admitting that people in this world are sick and more prone to depression than others, and something needs to be done to really reach out to them and understand that they’re not alone and there’s still hope. It’s not something that just requires a quick fix. A couple “rational conversations” won’t make the person feel less depressed as it may for a normal person like you or me. It takes much time, patience and support from their loved ones and professionals.

    I’m not trying to scold you, so I hope you don’t feel attacked. I’m just trying to dispel a very common misconception. Take it from someone who lost her cousin and wishes she’d saved her instead of writing her symptoms off as more selfish drama.

  26. 26 ed

    “I hope the media will give his wife some private to mourn her big lost.”

    Phiphi: too late for that – there are already 40 pages of press photos, all of the camera shoved in jung’s face showing her state of shock and sorrow on a stretcher. it’s like “Secret Sunshine” without the lighting and good skin, the tragedy infinitely worse.

  27. 27 sang hee

    first of, my deepest sympathy to his wife & their families — may he rest in peace! i just saw him in The Secret Lovers last week & thought he’s a very pleasant actor, always have that smiling face! it’s still not worth taking your life for all the troubles in the world cause you can still move on & rectify matters. However, it’s really easy for us to say and we may never know what really drove them to commit suicide at that point in time! my prayers are with him & his family.

  28. 28 cheremaman

    I can only imagine the desperation that pushed him to his death at his own hands. Thoughts of how his wife and family would suffer, how he was commiting an act of, cowardice, or an act of pure selfishness were probably not compelling enough to stop him from putting himself out of his misery. What an exit from life.
    I’ve only seen him in a few dramas and on the Vitamin talk show and always enjoyed his presence, especially his genuine and spontaneous smiles. Let us hope that he is in a better place and that his widow and family will receive the strength to cope with his death and to take care of their financial woes. May he rest in the peace that he sought.

  29. 29 evelyn168

    I feel so sorry for his family and especially Jung Sunhee. They were so cute together. They even starred in Yurisangja’s Honeymoon MV together… It’s really sad that some netizens were part of the cause of this tragedy.

  30. 30 lee

    WHY have they taken a picture of his wife on the stretcher? It strikes me as insensitive.

  31. 31 YyAlexi

    Christ, those photos of the inside of his car are disturbing, though morbidly fascinating nonetheless. it feels so intrusive to look at the contents of the vehicle, in part because you can clearly see how the man let his enviorment and surroundings deteriorate towards the end.

  32. 32 Anonymous

    i feel so bad for jung sunhee. i dont understand why he killed himself. he’s not the only one going through all the hard stuff. i mean its life, life’s a bitch things happen he should’ve been a bit stronger & should’ve just hung in there regarless of how things were going. he was being so selfish by killing himself & leaving his wife by herself & it hasn’t even been a year since they’ve been married. i bet jung sunhee’s gonna be scarred for life.


  33. 33 rest in peace

    There are no words to this tragedy.

    He seemed so happy when on tv that we never think about how he actually is when the cameras are off. The thing that pisses me off the most is how the media is badgering jung sunhee when she is clearly in mourning. I saw clips of her on the stretcher, crying her eyes out and the stupid reporters were just all over her, taking pictures of her pain. I say that these reporters should be in jail for obstruction of privacy.

    Also, I believe that it was a very selfish thing to kill himself. I know that during hard times that we want to kill ourselves but we have to take into thought what our actions will do to those we love. Death is never the answer, no matter how hard life gets.

  34. 34 Charlo

    D: oooooohhh this is sooooo not a good year. May he rest in peace and poooooor jung sun hee has to suffer such a horrible ordeal. She’s always to fun to watch on TV.

    The pictures are really eerie.

    Nothing ever good comes out of an unwanted suicide.

  35. 35 jinah

    This is a tragedy, but I don’t think any of us have a place saying the victim should have been stronger and less selfish. It’s very easy for people who are not depressed and not in the situation to see that suicide leaves behind more pain for the victim’s loved ones. I think for anyone to be in such a dark place and take their own lives, they’re beyond rational thinking. They’re in too much pain to think of other people’s pain when their own was enough to push them over the edge. It’s very sad all around, but I hate the mentality that blames the sufferer.

  36. 36 katy rose.

    a week to a month ago? hm.idk. that sounds strange to me. no matter when it was, it’s still really SAD.

    alot of people are talking about depressions & stuff. [idk if its truee or not] but my friend told me once that in [some] parts of korea [i’m not condemn a whole country or anything, so don’t bitch at me,please] it’s regarded as something bad to exhibit signs of depression. like, its not socially accepted or something, even to get treatment for it? again, idk if its even true or if she was BS’ing me or something, but it’d explain at least why so many stars commit suicide & the reason is often linked to depression. because a lot of the time, it seems like people close to them are like, i never would have guessed…etc.

  37. 37 JiHwan

    oh my.. this is horrible… I feel so bad for Jung Sun Hee and Ahn Jae Hwan’s family. They just got maried not so long ago,… RIP

  38. 38 Emma C

    To jjbb –

    If you read my comment more carefully you will see that I wasn’t judging him but rather stating my opinion about the act of committing suicide (“hate the act but love the man”) – in fact I even said that I felt bad that he felt he didn’t have anything to live for – I think that shows sympathy for the man (not necessarily the act itself) and not judgement, (I wasn’t saying “selfish selfish selfish”, was I?………), wouldn’t you agree?………..

    Perhaps you misunderstood what I meant by the word “selfish” so let me explain to you: selfish (to me at least) = my own pain and suffering >>>> the pain and suffering of my family (spouse, children, parents, brothers/sisters) without me in this world, so I must end MY pain and suffering and ask for forgiveness (with a suicide note, for example). If they really thought about others more than their desire to end their suffering, they would ask for help (and forgiveness if necessary) from the people they love and who love them, unless they were too proud to ask for help or forgiveness……….

    Sorry to hear about your cousin but I know that if someone I know came to me for help I would not simply “write it off as more selfish drama”…………

  39. 39 yikes

    ^Whoa, Emma C. It’s one thing to disagree with an opinion (you have the right to a different point of view) but your last sentence was really over the line, IMO. She shared about losing a family member to suicide and it’s not for you to judge if she could have stopped it, or to insinuate that she should have.

  40. 40 Marzy

    i was so shocked when i heard this.
    i thought sun hee was so happy when they got married.
    to think i just saw them on come to play.
    i thought they were happy.. to speculate it as being a cause is troubling to sun hee and friends..
    may sun hee find strength and courage to get pass this.
    condolences and prayers to the family and friends.

    this death was shocking.
    im really bothered they found him “severely decomposed”
    i dont know why they didnt look into the car earlier?
    it was just there outside..

  41. 41 Oh Well

    When you really get down to it, who really cares~

  42. 42 marcel

    i’m actually not familiar with this celebrity couple…but it’s horribly disturbing and sad news nonetheless…in agreement that 2008 was a bum year all around…

    just reading the discussion on the subject of depression and suicide…i don’t mean to air my dirty laundry here…but as someone who’s been through it personally…i can actually sympathize with what people go through…

    just because someone is always laughing and smiling…it doesn’t mean there may not be a great deal of pain underneath…and honestly you would be surprised by how unaware even family members and friends can be of your inner emotions…

    it also saddens me to hear how much of a social stigma there is to the illness in korea…there isn’t going to be much room for hope if you feel stigmatized in addition to the burden of dealing with what is really a serious medical condition…

    after having been through more than a year of treatment including therapy and medication…i can vouch for the severity of the condition and the long, painstaking process of trying to heal…

    to the person who said someone who wished to commit suicide should have asked others for help and forgiveness…it might be that they really felt they had no one else to turn to…and rather than pride it could have been shame that prevented them from seeking help…

    having stood in similar shoes…i would never want to place judgment and blame on a person who is obviously suffering…it is frightening to think…but there are times when there is little any other person can do to help other than express care and concern where it is badly needed…

  43. 43 haezi

    this is so shocking, since this couple seemed genuinely happy during a hilarious “come to play” episode a few months back.
    as many wiser commenters stated before, i’ll refrain from any ignorant self-righteous comments regarding the man’s character since no one has any inkling of what this man went through, and it’s tragic that he felt that living was such a lonely nightmare that he had no one he could turn to, whether it was family or God. plus, he and his wife were in the negative spotlight for months over a single comment that jung sun hee made.
    life is a double-edged sword; there are moments of happiness and beauty, but for those of us who have experienced our fair share of downs, we can’t deny that suicide has deceptively looked like a solution to a sucky problem…and sadly, those who are depressed often perceive the problem to be themselves.
    i can’t even imagine the suffering that his wife and family are going through and i pray they pull through this hard time.

  44. 44 kopi adik

    oh my… this is really sad news even though i’m not familiar with AJH. i do watch his wife Sun Hee in Cider, a very funny lady.

    my prayers and condolences…

    i just hope korean press would stop with the taking pictures of grieving & hospitalized celebs. i think that’s just too much invasion of the tiniest privacy that they have. i am a fan but i don’t need to see my idols in their downest moments. at least give them that.

  45. 45 serendipity

    Hmm. Is it just me, or are those dark marks on the car seat NOT burn marks? Everyone seems to be remarking upon the photo of his wife. But I’m far more disturbed by the car seat (and it’s the non-pixelated car seat photos which I think crossed the line) — stained black (and red) in the shape of a body; him having been found “severely decomposed” — am I the only one drawing a macabre conclusion?

  46. 46 anita

    May your soul rest in peace. God Bless You

  47. 47 agagafg

    decomposition can speed up with cold weather and so not surprised that his body was severely decomposing after just two weeks..

    what a pity that he had to resort to suicide just because of debts.. but then his wife is lucky they havent registered their marriage yet so she isnt legally accountable for her husbands debts..

  48. 48 angela

    Wow I can’t believe it. It really sucks. He must have felt so overwhelmed to do this. I mean it’s 4 million dollars, and he filed bankruptcy. Gees, isn’t like America, where if you file bankruptcy, that you are no longer liable to your debters? I wonder if Korea is like that. If it isn’t maybe he was just too burdened. And what’s up with Jung Sun Hee and their marriage? They were not married legally on paper? what? This was shocking too. It is as if they knew what was going on. If they are married on paper, then Jung Sung Hee has nothing to worry about. The creditors can’t go after her. I guess that the only good news. but I feel sorry for her.

  49. 49 janie

    awww…poor jung sung hee.

    RIP ahn jae hwan

    they weren’t even married for that long. gosh..this makes me really sad.

  50. 50 jjbb

    Emma C

    “selfish (to me at least) = my own pain and suffering >>>> the pain and suffering of my family (spouse, children, parents, brothers/sisters) without me in this world, so I must end MY pain and suffering and ask for forgiveness”

    You didn’t really understand my post. A person who is suicidal isn’t in their right mind to assess a situation the way a normal person like you or I would. They would be completely incapable of reasoning with themselves and realizing that they must end their own pain… all they see is their pain, they don’t have hope, they don’t see a tomorrow. It’s not that they’re selfish, it’s that they’re sick… they can’t help but to be so. They are incapable of seeing situations so clearly as you would.

    And for you to throw back in my face that if you were in my place you would have saved my cousin… well that was just very low of you. You seem so arrogant. Not everything’s black or white. A person isn’t selfish or they’re not. There’s gray areas… people are sick, people are depressed. But you seem to close minded to even take in my comments. I’m really disgusted by your comment to me. Please don’t ever write about my cousin again.

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