The Korea Herald


Singer who faked cancer found dead

By Jung Min-kyung

Published : June 21, 2023 - 17:38

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Choi Sung-bong (Yonhap) Choi Sung-bong (Yonhap)

A singer who raised donations by faking cancer was found dead in an apparent suicide, police said Wednesday.

The deceased, 33-year-old Choi Sung-bong, was the semifinalist in tvN's 2011 singing competition program "Korea's Got Talent."

Police and emergency officials found him dead at his home in Gangnam-gu around 9:41 a.m. on Tuesday. Officers arrived at the scene after receiving a report that he may have attempted suicide.

Prior to his death, Choi posted on his YouTube channel a farewell message apologizing to his fans about his lies.

In 2020, he pretended to have stage 3 colon cancer, thyroid cancer and hypothyroidism and crowdfunded an unspecified amount of money to "cure his cancers."

As suspicions rose of a possible scam, he later admitted that he lied and released an official apology saying that he was suffering from depression and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

In the message, which was dated June 17, Choi apologized to everyone who were hurt by his "foolish mistakes and wrongdoings," and added that he had paid back all the money to the donors.

If you’re thinking about self-harm or suicide, contact the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s helpline 1393, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Please request a translator for English-language services.