Seoul’s mayor ends life after being accused of sexual harassment
Seoul’s Mayor Park Won-soon, who was accused of sexual harassment, was found dead on a mountain in the capital. His name was one of the many implicated in the #MeToo movement among other prominent men in multiple fields.
A suicide note written by Park was found by authorities at his official residence. In the handwritten note, he had written, “I'm sorry to everyone. I thank everyone who has been with me in my life," he wrote, asking to be cremated and his ashes scattered at his parents' graves. "I'm sorry to my family, to whom I only caused pain."
"Bye everyone," he signed off, without referring to the allegations against him.
Won-soon, a heavyweight figure in the ruling centre-left Democratic Party, was hoping to run for the office of president in 2022. Won-soon, a politician who wasn’t afraid to express his opinions, won elections three times while promoting social and gender equality.
He ended his life after his former secretary lodged a formal complaint of sexual harassment against him. The woman, who worked for Won-soon since 2015, said he committed “sexual harassment and inappropriate gestures during work hours, including insisting she hugs him in the bedroom adjoining his office. “I brainwashed myself, bearing tremendous fear and humiliation, that all of this was in the interest of Seoul City, myself, and mayor Park,” she said in a statement.
Prior to this, the most high-profile death that was a suicide was in 2009, when former president Roh Moo-hyun, who jumped off a cliff in 2009 after being questioned over corruption allegations involving family members.