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Director Kim Ki-duk loses lawsuit against actress, broadcaster for airing sexual abuse allegations

All News 17:19 October 28, 2020

SEOUL, Oct. 28 (Yonhap) -- Kim Ki-duk, an internationally acclaimed filmmaker, has lost a compensation suit he filed against an actress and a local broadcaster, both of whom raised allegations of his sex crimes.

The Seoul Western District Court on Wednesday ruled for the defendants, dismissing Kim's claims that the actress and the broadcaster MBC falsely accused him of sexual assault, thereby defaming him. The director, who was at the center of a massive #MeToo scandal from 2017-2018, had sought 1 billion won (US$885,740) in damages from the two parties.

In its ruling, the court also ordered Kim to pay for the defendants' legal fees.

This file photo shows Kim Ki-duk, a 60-year-old South Korean filmmaker who became involved in a massive #MeToo scandal raised by actresses who worked with him. (Yonhap)

In 2017, the actress, whose identity was withheld, accused the director of coercion and sexual and physical assault.

In the lawsuit, she claimed that he forced her to perform unscripted sex scenes and slapped her face under the pretext of helping her empathize with her character's emotions during the shooting of one of his films in 2013.

After probing the case, the prosecution only gave him a summary fine of 5 million won for assault charges and dropped other charges, citing a lack of physical evidence.

The allegations against the director resurfaced in March 2018 when the MBC program aired an investigative report about the director's alleged sexual misconduct.

Kim, later that year, filed a criminal complaint against the actress and the producers of the program for allegedly making false accusations and defamation. Prosecutors cleared them of the charges, saying the accusations against Kim cannot be judged as being false. The director, however, brought a civil suit against the two on the same counts in March 2019.

Separately, he has sued a local feminist organization, which demanded an international film festival withdraw its decision to screen Kim's movie as the opening film, seeking 300 million won in damages.


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