Oh Yeong-su, a Korean actor who recently won a Golden Globe for his performance in the hit series “Squid Game,” has been accused of sexual misconduct. He was released without arrest.
Prosecutors in Suwon, near Seoul, revealed on Friday that they had charged Oh a day earlier. Oh, 78, allegedly touched a woman’s body inappropriately in mid-2017.
The alleged victim filed a complaint against Oh in December last year. Authorities closed the case in April but reopened it at the victim’s request, Yonhap news agency reports. Oh, when asked by prosecutors, he denied the allegations.
In a statement Oh shared with Korean broadcaster JTBC, the actor said, “I just held her hand to lead the way around the lake. I apologized because [the person] she said she wouldn’t make a big deal out of it, but that doesn’t mean I’m admitting the allegations.”
The AFP news agency quoted a Suwon court official as saying that “everything reported by the local media is factually incorrect.”
The agency added that Korea’s Ministry of Culture pulled a government television advertisement on regulatory innovation with Oh off the air following the accusation.
Born in 1944 in Kaesong, now part of North Korea, Oh moved with his family to the US-controlled south after the 38th parallel became the dividing line and before the inter-Korean war.
He began acting professionally in 1967 and spent most of his career in live theater. As of 2013, he claimed to have acted in more than 200 stage productions, including Korean adaptations of “A Streetcar Named Desire” and Goethe’s “Faust”.
Before “Squid Game,” Oh’s best-known film role was as an old monk in Kim Ki-duk’s highly acclaimed “Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter…and Spring.”
In Netflix’s “Squid Game,” Oh played the oldest participant in the survival competition, appearing to be the benign underdog amid a mass of violent self-interests.
The role earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or Television Movie, as well as a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.
Variety reached out to Netflix for comment, but did not hear back by press time.