Goo, who made her K-pop debut in 2008 as a member of the girl band Kara and later launched her career as a solo artist in South Korea and Japan, told reporters after her May hospitalization that she had been “in agony over overlapping issues” and vowed to recover. She released a mini album this month.
Goo took her former boyfriend to court last year, accusing him of filming her without her consent and of threatening to circulate a video of the pair having sex.
In August, a court found the boyfriend, hairdresser Choi Jong-bum, guilty of assault and of threatening to circulate the sex video, although not of filming without her consent. He has denied the allegations and has filed an appeal.
After Goo’s case hit the headlines, more than 275,000 people signed an online petition demanding that the presidential office implement stronger punishment for revenge-porn offenders.
Goo’s last post on Instagram, published Saturday, was a photograph of herself in bed with the caption: “Good night.”
Last month, Sulli was found dead in her home, with an autopsy later concluding that there was evidence that she may have died by suicide. In an Instagram live session the day after Sulli’s death, a tearful Goo spoke about her friend and pledged to work harder and live harder herself.
Sulli’s death highlighted the huge pressures on K-pop stars, partly exerted by demanding fans, and the lack of mental health support in a country with the highest suicide rate among rich nations.
Both women, members of an industry in which female singers are not supposed to date or even live real lives but instead conform to rigid norms, had their private lives intensely examined in public and were the subject of hateful online comments.
But the death of Goo also highlights the scourge of revenge porn, as well as an epidemic of what is known as molka in South Korea, where women are filmed with spy cameras and the footage is uploaded to websites.
Sulli was outspoken about her mental health issues and shared her experiences dealing with malicious online comments.
Suicide is the leading cause of death for South Koreans between the ages of 10 and 39, according to government statistics.
Denyer reported from Hong Kong.