Choi Jin-ri (March 29, 1994 – October 14, 2019), better known by her stage name Sulli (), was a South Korean actress, singer, and model. Sulli first made her debut as a child actress, appearing as a supporting cast member on the SBS historical drama Ballad of Seodong (2005). Following this, she earned a number of guest roles, appearing in the television series Love Needs a Miracle (2005) and Drama City (2007), and the film Vacation (2006). She then subsequently appeared in the independent films Punch Lady (2007) and BA:BO (2008), the former being her first time cast in a substantial dramatic role.
After signing a record deal with SM Entertainment, Sulli rose to prominence as a member of the girl group f(x) formed in 2009. The group achieved both critical and commercial success, with four Korean number-one singles and international recognition after becoming the first K-pop act to perform at SXSW. Concurrently with her music career, Sulli returned to acting by starring in the SBS romantic comedy series, To the Beautiful You (2012), a Korean adaptation of the popular shōjo manga Hana-Kimi where her performance was positively received and earned her the two SBS Drama Awards and a nomination at the 49th Paeksang Arts Awards.
Sulli's film career progressed with her starring in the fantasy swashbuckler The Pirates (2014) and the coming-of-age drama Fashion King (2014). During the press tour for The Pirates, Sulli took a hiatus from the entertainment industry due to health issues and following a year long absence from promoting with f(x), she left the group in August 2015. Between 2015 and 2017, she embarked on a number of modelling campaigns before becoming a global brand ambassador for Estée Lauder. Sulli garnered attention for her role in the experimental neo-noir thriller Real (2017). She later returned to the music industry in 2018, making a guest appearance on Dean's single "Dayfly" and releasing her debut solo single "Goblin" in June 2019, which was her last musical project prior to her death.Sulli was recognised as a prominent figure in Korean popular culture for her outspoken persona, becoming the most Googled person in South Korea in 2017, ahead of the current President of South Korea Moon Jae-in.
She is also known as Choi Jin-ri, Seolli, Choi Seol-ri and Sulli Choi.
News leaked by an employee in the emergency call center revealed that on October 14, 2019, at approximately 3:20 p.m. KST, Sulli was found dead by her manager in the second floor in her house in Seongnam, south of Seoul. The manager reportedly visited the house when he was not able to reach her, after speaking with Sulli via phone the previous day at 6:30 p.m. KST. Police stated that they were investigating it as a possible suicide as there were no signs of foul play or a break-in. They found a handwritten note in her diary in which she described her feelings, but concluded that it was not a suicide note. On October 15, police filed for an autopsy to confirm the cause of death and performed it the following morning, concluding that her body did not show any signs of death due to external force, and it is likely a suicide that occurred on the night of October 13 or the morning of October 14.
The funeral was initially closed to the media as well as fans and was privately held by family members and friends. However, SM Entertainment opened a separate venue in Severance Hospital's funeral hall in Sinchon-dong, Seoul on October 15 and 16 for fans wishing to pay tribute. Various celebrities and companies, such as previous bandmates Victoria Song, Amber Liu and Luna, fellow singer and friend IU, Dynamic Duo, and the premiere of the film Gift, canceled their activities to mourn Sulli. On October 17, following a four-day private funeral and mourning ceremony at a Seoul hospital, Sulli was buried at an undisclosed location.
Sulli's death was linked by various media outlets to depression caused by cyberbullying. Following her death, it was revealed that Sulli had repeatedly asked her agency, SM Entertainment, to take strong measures against the malicious comments and cyberbullying. A total of seven petitions were posted at the South Korean presidential office website demanding tougher punishment for cyberbullying and strengthening use of the real-name system when posting comments and creating accounts. Moreover, the political circle discussed various ways to prevent such a tragedy from happening again. An act under the proposed title "Sulli Act" was mentioned at a general audit of the Korea Communications Commission on October 21, where Rep. Park Dae-chool of the Liberty Korea Party said he is writing a legislative proposal to enact a new law to increase the responsibility of comments by introducing an Internet real-name system. Moreover, on October 25, Rep. Park Seon-sook proposed a partial amendment to the Act on Promotion of Information and Communications Network Utilization and Information Protection, which imposes an obligation for information and communication service providers to delete hate comments. In addition, the amendment included marking malicious comments as illegal information, and provide anyone who saw malicious comments, not just the one being attacked, the ability to request its deletion. On the same day, Rep. Park Dae-chool also proposed an amendment to the Act on Promotion of Information and Communications Network Utilization and Information Protection which would allow the disclosure of full names of people posting comments under usernames and strengthen accountability of online comments by disclosing IPs. On October 25, 2019, Kakao announced that they are temporarily disabling comments on entertainment news to prevent hate comments and removing related search terms when searching people's names for a year.