TOP ACTOR HANDED SUSPENDED SENTENCE FOR SEXUAL MISCONDUCT

SEOUL. Squid Game actor O Yeong-Su has been given an eight-month suspended prison sentence for sexual misconduct by a court in South Korea.

The 79-year-old was charged in 2022 with sexually assaulting a woman twice.

The assaults took place five years earlier when O was staying in a rural area for a theatre performance in 2017, AFP reported the Seongnam Branch of the Suwon District Court as saying.

O has said he will appeal against the verdict and has seven days to do so.

The allegations were that he hugged a woman and kissed her on the cheek against her will, the Yonhap news agency reported.

O has also been ordered to attend classes on sexual violence, it has been reported.

According to AFP, judge Jeong Yeon-ju said the victim’s records of the assault and her claims were “consistent … and appear to be statements that cannot be made without actually experiencing them”.

O had denied the claims which, according to Suwon District Court, took place on a walking path and in front of the victim’s residence.

The actor rose to international fame after starring in Squid Game, a dystopian drama which sees contestants take part in deadly versions of traditional children’s games.

It was a huge and unexpected hit on Netflix – attracting more than 100 million viewers around the world within weeks of its release in 2021.

The following year O became the first South Korean actor to win a Golden Globe for his role as Oh Il-nam, the oldest participant in the competition.

The controversy caused by the accusations against O saw him dropped from an upcoming film in South Korea, Reuters reported.

Womenlink, a prominent feminist organisation, spoke to reporters shortly after the sentencing and said:

“Now we can say that the sexual violence in the theatre is not an old custom but sexual violence. The accused must stop trying to make his assault go away, apologise to the victim and accept his mistake.” – BBC

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