Yoo Ah-in dropped from ‘Hellbound’ after he tests positive for cocaine, ketamine

Yoo Ah-in dropped from ‘Hellbound’ after he tests positive for cocaine, ketamineYoo Ah-in dropped from ‘Hellbound’ after he tests positive for cocaine, ketamine
Photo by Han Myung-Gu/WireImage via Getty Images
South Korean actor Yoo Ah-in has been dropped from Netflix’s “Hellbound” and various retail brands amidst an ongoing drug investigation involving four different narcotics.
Seoul police announced Thursday that Yoo tested positive for cocaine and ketamine. 
The two drugs are the latest additions to an ongoing investigation into the actor’s illegal use of marijuana and propofol — an anesthetic drug generally used during surgeries and with a notable history of illegal use by Korean socialites and entertainers — both of which he also tested positive for earlier last month.
That investigation began at the end of last year, when the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety alerted the police to Yoo’s unusual number of propofol prescriptions. 
The Ministry discovered that Yoo had used propofol a total of 73 times in 2021 alone, and after accounting for his usage last year, Yoo was found to have used the drug over 100 times over the course of two years.
On Feb. 5, Seoul Metropolitan Police executed a search warrant at Incheon International Airport and collected Yoo’s urine and hair samples immediately upon his return from the United States. 
Analysis reports from the National Forensic Service revealed marijuana and propofol present in the samples.
After police obtained medical records during a search and seizure of several clinics last month, it was further revealed that the actor had visited numerous plastic surgery clinics in the Gangnam and Yongsan districts of Seoul in order to receive frequent prescriptions.
Local news outlets reported that one hospital director allegedly sent Yoo warnings related to his propofol use via text messages. “You shouldn’t use too much sleep anesthesia,” he wrote. “You shouldn’t move from one hospital to another.”
Amidst the growing scandal, an interview local news outlet YTN did with Yoo from two years ago has recently resurfaced as drug experts in Korea now speculate that Yoo’s behavior during the interview suggests evidence of drug use and addiction. 
In the video, Yoo can be seen opening his eyes widely, frowning excessively and seemingly exhibiting tics — involuntary movements — as he responds to a question.
Marijuana, propofol, cocaine and ketamine are all classified as illegal drugs under the Narcotics Control Act in Korea, and if convicted, Yoo faces multiple fines and considerable jail time.
Yoo, whose real name is Uhm Hong-sik, has been a high-profile film and television actor in South Korea for over a decade. 
He received international acclaim for his appearances in the 2018 film “Burning” and the 2021 Netflix series “Hellbound.”
“Hellbound,” which was Netflix’s most-watched show upon its release in Nov. 2021, was renewed for a second season. On Thursday, Netflix announced that Kim Sung-cheol will replace Yoo and that Yang Dong-geun and Moon Geun-young will join the cast.
Netflix’s announcement follows as fallout from Yoo’s drug scandal has left a number of companies rushing to distance themselves from Yoo.
Apart from acting, Yoo, 36, has been a well-known model in the fashion and retail industry, and a popular choice for advertisers in various sectors. 
Musinsa, one of Korea’s largest online fashion platforms, selected Yoo to be the face of its brand in 2021. Following the drug investigations, the platform has said it is now considering terminating its contract with the actor. 
Korean food manufacturer Ottogi, outdoor brand Nepa, pharmaceutical company Chong Kun Dang and vitamin brand I’m Vita have all removed advertisements featuring Yoo.
In addition to potentially facing imprisonment over illegal drug use, Yoo will also likely be hit with various penalty lawsuits from the companies he represents. Advertising contracts involving celebrities in Korea often include clauses that require compensation for damage to the company’s image due to controversy or scandals.
Police are now analyzing over 460,000 text messages from Yoo’s mobile phone from the past eight years, and they expect to summon Yoo for questioning within the next week.
Share this Article
Your leading
Asian American
news source
© 2024 NextShark, Inc. All rights reserved.