Lee Boo-jin, the Hotel Shilla CEO and daughter of Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee, may have habitually received injections of propofol, a fast-acting sedative and anaesthetic drug, a local news outlet reported late Wednesday.
Hotel Shilla CEO Lee Boo-jin (Yonhap)
Investigative news outlet Newstapa cited a former nuse's assistant as saying that Lee took the drug at least twice a month at a plastic surgery clinic in the affluent Cheongdam neighborhood in southern Seoul. The assistannt claimed to have witnessed Lee do so at the clinic.
Propofol, which is blamed for the death of US pop icon Michael Jackson, is a powerful sedative used as a general anaesthetic, which reduces anxiety but may cause hallucinations. In South Korea, it was classified as a psychotropic medicine in 2011 and it illegal to consume other than for stipulated medical treatments.
Lee, as scheduled, appeared at a general meeting of Hotel Shilla shareholders held at the hotel in central Seoul on Thursday morning. Stone-faced, Lee did not respond to any of the questions about the allegations. She immediately left the hotel after the 20-minute meeting.
“When I was working there, CEO Lee visited the plastic surgery clinic at least twice a month and spent a long time in a VIP room receiving injections of propofol,” the nurse’s assistant, who was working at the clinic between January and October in 2016, was quoted as saying.
In September last year, the nurse’s aide was left alone at the hospital and watched Lee take the drug, according to the report. Lee asked for more propofol and the assistant had to call the head of the clinic to discuss the matter.
According to the assistant, the hospital fabricated its patient and medical charts not to leave any records of her visiting the clinic or taking the drug.
An official from the hospital admitted to having Lee as its patient but said her visit was to “get Botox” treatments, according to Newstapa.
The Hotel Shilla flatly denied the allegations, saying “it is not at all true.”