Clinic head faces probes regarding Lee’s alleged propofol abuse
The police booked the chief of a cosmetic clinic in southern Seoul, who is suspected of having administered an addictive drug to Hotel Shilla CEO Lee Boo-jin for non-medical purposes.
The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said on March 24 that the clinic head was booked on the charges of violating the relevant laws that regulate the drug use.
The announcement came after the police raided the clinic at issue the previous day to carry out investigations for longer than eight hours to seize related documents and books.
A local media recently reported an interview with a former nurse of the cosmetic clinic, who said Lee took propofol shots for non-medical purposes at least twice a month from January to October in 2016.
Lee instantly denied the accusation and Hotel Shilla came up with a press release to claim that the Samsung heiress visited the hospital for legitimate treatment.
Propofol is a short-acting and sedative-hypnotic agent, which induces and maintains anesthesia. Misuse of the medicine can be fatal as shown by the 2009 death of American pop icon Michael Jackson.
Korea classified it as a psychotropic drug in 2011 as more and more people have become addicted to it. It is currently unlawful to prescribe or consume the agent for recreational purposes.
Lee is the eldest daughter of bed-ridden Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee. The 49-year-old is also a younger sister of Samsung Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, who currently leads the country’s top conglomerate.
As a business leader, Lee has shown her competency _ Hotel Shilla has chalked up a fast growth under her stewardship. Its annual turnover approaches $5 billion.
But the propofol scandal puts the reputation of the billionaire businesswoman at risk. In the past, famous Korean entertainers saw their popularity wane after being embroiled in propofol scandals.