Actor Yoo Ah-in appears before court for first hearing over drug use case

Actor Yoo Ah-in enters the Seoul Central District Court in Seocho District, southern Seoul, on Tuesday morning for his first court hearing on his alleged use of illegal drugs. [NEWS1]

Actor Yoo Ah-in admitted to smoking marijuana but denied most other allegations of illegal drug use in a hearing on Tuesday.

The first court hearing for Yoo, 37, whose real name is Uhm Hong-sik, took place at the Seoul Central District Court over his alleged use of seven different types of drugs, including marijuana, propofol, ketamine and cocaine.

He is also accused of recommending others to smoke marijuana with him and tampering with evidence.

Yoo, clad in a black suit, appeared at the court with four attorneys.

"I would like to extend my sincere apology to everyone who has been disappointed and hurt by me," he said to reporters before entering the court building.

He walked straight through when reporters asked if he admits to using drugs on 181 occasions.

Yoo and his attorneys declined to be tried by jury.

"We admit to the defendants' common allegation of smoking marijuana," Yoo's attorney said. "However, there are many exaggerations and inconsistencies regarding other allegations [...] There are many factors that need to be reviewed. We will share our assessment after scrutinizing the list of evidence."

Yoo was indicted without detention on Oct. 19 over his use of illegal drugs and illegally acquiring prescriptions for various drugs, including sedatives like propofol, midazolam, ketamine, remimazolam and sleep-inducing pills made of zolpidem.

His first hearing was scheduled to take place on Nov. 14 but was postponed upon Yoo's request. The next hearing will be held on Jan. 23 at 10 a.m.