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25th Nov 2022

Squid Game actor is indicted for indecent assault for ‘touching woman’

Steve Hopkins

Police closed the case in April but re-opened it at the alleged victim’s request

Squid Game actor O Yeong-su has been indicted on charges of sexual misconduct after he allegedly touched a woman inappropriately, officials said on Friday.

The 78-year-old Golden Globe winner was formally accused by the Seongnam branch of the Suwon District Prosecutors Office, without detention, on Thursday, after a complaint by a woman that he touched her inappropriately in mid-2017.

According to the Yonhap news agency, the alleged victim filed a complaint with police in December last year, but they closed the case in April without filing charges against Yeong-su.

The case was later reopened, the news agency reported, at the woman’s request.

The actor reportedly denied the charges during the prosecution’s investigation.

Yeong-su won best TV supporting actor at the 2022 Golden Globe Awards for his role in Squid Game. It was South Korea’s first one.

The actor has previously spoken about the allegations, telling local media last year that he had “held hands with the woman to show the way around a lake”.

Yeong-su also apologised to the woman, but insisted he’d done so because the woman said “she wouldn’t make a fuss about it”. He stressed that an apology “doesn’t mean that I admit the charges”.

‘Squid Game’, in which cash-strapped contestants play childhood games with deadly consequences in a bid to win 45.6 billion won, became a worldwide sensation and Netflix’s biggest original series launch.

The dystopian drama has inspired countless real world recreations and social media memes in South Korea, including his use of the term ‘kkanbu’, which roughly translates as ‘friend’.

Yeong-su, who was born in what is now a North Korean border town of Kaepung in 1944, is regarded as one of the greatest stage actors in South Korea. He has appeared in more than 200 stage productions since 1963, winning a number of major awards.

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