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Politics/Diplomacy
2008/10/04 11:37 KST
Funeral service held for actress Choi Jin-sil

   SEOUL, Oct. 4 (Yonhap) -- A funeral service was held Saturday for popular South Korean actress Choi Jin-sil, who was found dead in her Seoul home earlier this week in an apparent suicide.

   The 40-year-old had suffered from depression since her 2004 divorce from then baseball player Cho Sung-min, Choi's mother told police. She came under greater stress amid rumors circulating on the Internet she was involved in the suicide of fellow actor Ahn Jae-hwan.

Ahn committed suicide last month, apparently due to distress over mounting debts. Choi was rumored to have provided high-interest loans to Ahn and put him under pressure.

   Police have said the rumor is groundless.

   Choi's death promoted ruling party lawmakers to push for legislation tightening Internet regulation. Nicknamed the "Choi Jin-sil Act," the proposed bill calls for harsher punishment for cyberspace defamation.

   President Lee Myung-bak has been dogged by Internet rumors critical of him since taking office in February.
Opposition parties, however, were against the move, saying it might undermine the freedom of speech.

   Choi was arguably one of the country's most famous entertainers. Since her debut two decades ago, she starred in dozens of big-hit movies and prime time television dramas.

   She is survived by two children.

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