Monday, September 17, 2012

'Korea's Next Top Model' Judge Found Dead

By JONATHAN HICAP, Manila Bulletin
MANILA, Philippines - A stylist and judge on the TV franchise "Korea's Next Top Model" was found dead by his sister in his home in Seoul last Sept. 15. Korean police identified the victim as Woo Jong-wan, 46.
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Woo reportedly died of asphyxiation and no suicide note was found, according to Korean media.
"Woo’s sister told the police that she had last seen her brother Friday while he met a friend and contacted her brother the following day but he did not answer. She sensed something was wrong and visited his apartment but Woo was already dead," according to a report by the Korea Times.
There were conflicting reports on the cause of his death with one saying that the victim's family said Woo died of heart attack. An autopsy will be done on Woo's body soon.
"Investigators quoted her as saying that Woo had been extremely stressed from work," the Korea Times said.
Woo was one of the judges on "Korea's Next Top Model" when it premiered in Korea in 2010. The show is a franchise of the Tyra Bank's "America's Next Top Model."
The stylist was involved in a hit-and-run incident in December last year. He was convicted and sentenced to eight months of imprisonment with two years of probation.
In the past, Woo was saddled with credit card debt due to his love for clothes.
South Korea has the highest suicide rate among the countries under the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The Chosun Ilbo said 15,566 people took their lives in Korea in 2010, up over 50 percent from 2006
"This translates into 31.2 suicides per 100,000 people, or 42.6 per day. That is 2.4 times greater than the OECD average of 12.8 suicides per 100,000,"  the newspaper said.

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