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Director Hong Sang-soo not to challenge court's dismissal of divorce suit

Movies 17:08 June 28, 2019

SEOUL, June 28 (Yonhap) -- Director Hong Sang-soo has decided not to appeal a recent court ruling that turned down his request to divorce his wife of more than 30 years, his lawyer said Friday.

"Director Hong decided not to appeal in order to focus on his filmmaking career and present life," One Law Partners, representing the world-renowned director, said in a press release. "The fact remains unchanged that (the couple's) marital life has completely ended."

The firm also hinted at Hong's determination to divorce his wife, saying that "(Hong) would like to seek court approval again when the social circumstances are ripe."

Earlier this month, the Seoul Family Court confirmed that the marriage came to a crushing end but refused to approve the divorce on grounds that a spouse responsible for marital breakdown is not entitled to seek court approval for divorce. The decision was made more than two years after Hong lodged a divorce suit in December 2016.

After filming the 2015 movie "Right Now, Wrong Then," starring the 37-year-old actress Kim Min-hee, the 59-year-old Hong confirmed his extramarital relationship with Kim in March last year.

Since then, he has been seeking to end his marriage, apparently to tie the knot with Kim, but his wife has been adamant about not giving in to the divorce suit.

Hong and Kim have filmed six films together, including "Hotel by the River" and "Claire's Camera."

"Hotel by the River" (2018) was the 23rd feature from Hong and the director's sixth film starring his lover Kim.

Hong won the Best Director award at the Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland in 2013 for "Our Sunhi" and the top Golden Leopard award at the same film festival in 2015 for "Right Now, Wrong Then," which also earned its male lead Jung Jae-young the Best Actor prize.

Kim won best actress at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival in 2017 for "On the Beach at Night Alone," becoming the first Korean to clinch the honor at the Berlinale.

This file photo shows director Hong Sang-soo (L) with actress Kim Min-hee. (Yonhap)

pbr@yna.co.kr
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