SEOUL – Three South Korean actresses have accused, in anonymous testimonies to Korean media and in the framework of the growing “#metoo” movement in the Asian country, the renowned director Kim Ki-duk of alleged rape and sexual harassment, Yonhap News Agency reported on Wednesday.
The sexual crimes allegations, brought to light by an MBC TV investigative news show on Tuesday, point to Kim and actor Cho Jae-hyun adding to other scandals involving the filmmaker, whose films include “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter ... And Spring” (2003) and “3-Iron” (2004).
One of the actresses said Kim repeatedly asked her to have sex with him during the filming of a movie in 2013, and that she was fired when she did not agree.
The same actress, who did not want her name to be revealed, filed a lawsuit against the filmmaker last year for insults and assaults that led to the imposition of a fine of 5 million won ($4,676) on Kim, who admitted to slapping her.
Another actress said that the director used humiliating sexual language when she met him for a role audition, while the third one accused Kim of groping and raping her during a shoot with the aforementioned actor.
Kim denied all the allegations in statements on the same TV show, and said he never misused his position as a director to satisfy his sexual desires, while Cho said that the actresses’ testimonies, as well as other accusations against him, were false.
The sexual misconduct allegations against the renowned filmmaker and the well-known actor have shocked people in South Korea and, according to local media, could affect Kim’s new film, “Human, Space, Time and Human,” premiered at the Berlin International Festival last month.
Kim himself affirmed that the climate created by the “#metoo” movement is progressive, although he said he did not completely agree with it, during his film’s screening at the Berlinale.
Kim and Cho have been the latest public figures in South Korea to face attention amid this movement, which has gained momentum in recent weeks and affects celebrities from cultural, entertainment and political spheres.