Park Yoo-chun appears in court for illegal drug use trial, actor breaks down into tears during apology
The final verdict on actor Park Yoo-chun's trial for illegal drug use will be passed July 2 and the prosecution is seeking 18 months prison time as punishment
Actor Park Yoo-chun's trial about illegal drug use was held June 14 at Suwon District court office in South Korea. The trial was attended by reporters and fans of the former JYJ member. The actor who is popular for his series 'Sungkyunkwan Scandal' and 'Rooftop Prince' was asked his occupation when he hesitated before saying, "I used to be a celebrity."
The actor was accused of purchasing 1.5 grams of Philopon and using it with his former girlfriend, Hwang Ha Na, three times between February and March 2019. There was also the suspicion that the actor had used drugs at least six times before between September and October 2018.
Initially, he had claimed innocence and one of the drug tests performed on the actor was also negative. The second time a drug test was performed, traces of the Japanese methamphetamine was found in his body leading to a pretrial arrest request filed by the police, which the court ruled in favor of.
At the trial held Friday, the actor's lawyer stated, "Park Yoo-chun acknowledges all his wrongdoings and is reflecting. He is sorry to his friends and family for attending the press conference with a lying heart." The lawyer also added that all that Yoo-chun was left with today after the scandal was his family.
According to a report in Allkpop, Yoo-chun sobbed so heavily while reading his letter of apology, he couldn't pronounce words properly. He said, "I cannot estimate how many tears I've shed seeing how greatly I disappointed my friends and family, who cried and worried for me after seeing me imprisoned, because of my wrongdoing. I felt shame. I feel that I have committed a huge sin. I will not live with a heart of bitterness and resentment and will live with a heart that is sorry for what I've done. I am embarrassed of myself. I am sorry that I caused so many people to worry."
The final verdict on the case will be made by the judges July 2 and the prosecution is seeking a jail time of 18 months. While the case against Yoo-chun is proceeding quickly, the one against Hwang Ha Na has not seen any development and there are also no reports regarding the action the prosecution will be taking against the actor. She claimed in April that Yoo-chun forced her to take drugs while she was taken into custody on charges of drug trafficking, after which not much has been reported on her case.
While the use of marijuana has been legalized in many western countries such as Canada and the use of drugs such as LSD is not uncommon among musicians in the West, it is culturally frowned upon in South Korea. The punishment for use of illegal drugs is also harsh seeing as one can receive up to 5 years of jail time in prison or be fined 50 million won ($42,142). K-pop idols and actors of different entertainment agencies are tested for drugs regularly like an athlete would be, and is expected to stay away from drugs.