“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.
A heavyweight figure in the ruling center-left Democratic party, Park ran South Korea’s sprawling capital — home to almost a fifth of the national population — for nearly a decade.
He won three elections while promoting gender and social equality, and did not shy away from expressing his ambitions to replace incumbent President Moon Jae-in in 2022.
His death came a day after his former secretary filed a police complaint — said to involve sexual harassment — against him.
According to a document purporting to be the statement of Park’s victim, who worked as his personal secretary from 2015, he committed “sexual harassment and inappropriate gestures during work hours”, including insisting she hug him in the bedroom adjoining his office.
After work, she said, he sent her “selfies of himself in his underwear and lewd comments” on a messenger app.