Squid Game actor O Yeong-su sentenced over sexual misconduct allegations

‘Squid Game’ actor O Yeong-su has been convicted of sexual misconduct.
The 79-year-old actor was convicted on Friday (15.03.24) of two counts of sexual harassment, and as well as an eight-month prison term, which has been suspended for two years, he was also ordered to complete 40 hours of attendance at a sexual violence treatment programme.
The veteran actor was charged in November 2022 over allegations he hugged a woman and kissed her on the cheek without consent in 2017, but he denied the allegations and as he left the Seongnam Branch of the Suwon District Court following the verdict, he vowed to appeal the ruling.
O previously claimed he held the woman's hand to guide her around a lake.
He added: “I apologised because [the person] said she wouldn’t make a fuss about it but it doesn’t mean that I admit the charges,” he said.
But judge Jeong Yeon-ju found 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.”
The judge added: "What’s written in the victim’s diary, and the counselling report of the victim after the incident pretty much match the details of this case.”
South Korean women's rights group Womenlink praised the ruling.
They shared on X, formerly Twitter: “The defendant resembles other offenders of sexual violence in theatre in the past who tried to cover up their sexual violence as ‘favour’ and ‘friendship’."
Best known for his role as Oh Il-name in Netflix’s ‘Squid Game’, Yeong-su won South Korea’s first Golden Globe award in 2022 for his role in the show, which saw poverty-hit contestants play childhood games with fatal consequences in a bid to win 45.6 billion won.
He is seen as one of the greatest stage actors in South Korea, appearing in more than 200 stage productions since 1963 and winning a string of major awards.