(2nd LD) Actor Lee Sun-kyun grilled over suspected drug use, tests negative in simple drug testing

INCHEON, Actor Lee Sun-kyun of the Oscar-winning movie “Parasite” tested negative in a simple reagent drug test Saturday, as he was grilled by police over suspicions of drug use.

Earlier in the day, Lee appeared at the Incheon Nonhyeon police station in Incheon, about 30 kilometers west of Seoul, for his first questioning on charges of using illegal drugs in violation of the Narcotics Control Act.

Lee is suspected of having used marijuana and other illegal drugs at the home of a hostess working at a high-end bar in Seoul’s Gangnam district on multiple occasions since early this year.

The drug crime investigation division of the Incheon Metropolitan Police Agency said it carried out a brief reagent test on a sample of his urine and hair, and the outcome was negative.

But it plans to send the sample to the National Forensic Service, as the outcome of such a test could lack accuracy. Drug users test positive if they use narcotics five or ten days before the test, but it is hard to get an accurate result in the case of drug use long before.

“It would take about a month for the results of the forensic service’s drug test to come out,” a police officer said.

Lee is believed to have refused to make any statement on the drug use allegations during the police probe.

“I submitted my mobile phone and responded to the requests needed for the next formal investigation. I’ll faithfully answer whenever police summon me again for a probe,” he told reporters after the investigation.

In the run-up to the probe, Lee told reporters in front of the police station that he “sincerely apologizes for disappointing many people for his involvement in such a dishonorable affair” and will “honestly” cooperate with the investigation.

“I also feel sorry for my family members who are enduring such hard pain at this moment. … Once again, I would like to sincerely apologize to everyone,” he added.

Dressed in a suit, the 48-year-old actor bowed his head several times to express his remorse.

Earlier in the day, police seized his mobile phone and vehicle with a court-issued search warrant. He is currently under an overseas travel ban.

The police learned about Lee’s suspected drug use during an investigation prompted by a tipoff about illegal drug circulation in Gangnam nightclubs last month and have since booked eight people, including Lee, the hostess, a third-generation scion of a conglomerate family and a would-be entertainer.

G-Dragon of K-pop group BIGBANG has been separately booked for his suspected drug use.

The rapper-singer, whose real name is Kwon Ji-yong, denied the suspicions and pledged to cooperate with the police investigation in a statement released through his lawyer Friday.

Source: Yonhap News Agency