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Squid Game star Oh Yeong-soo goes on trial for sexual misconduct

Oh has pleaded not guilty to assault charges

Peony Hirwani
Friday 03 February 2023 06:56 GMT
Trailer for Netflix thriller Squid Game

Squid Game star Oh Yeong-soo’s sexual misconduct trial is scheduled to start on Friday (3 February).

The 78-year-old performer was charged last year in Suwon, near Seoul in South Korea.

It is alleged that he touched a woman inappropriately in 2017. The unnamed woman reportedly made a complaint against the actor in December 2021, but the case was closed by authorities in April 2022.

The matter was reopened at the victim’s request, according to a report from the Yonhap news agency.

Oh has previously denied the claim.

In a statement shared with Korean broadcaster JTBC, the actor said: “I just held her hand to guide the way around the lake.

“I apologised because [the person] said she wouldn’t make a fuss about it but it doesn’t mean that I admit the charges.”

In South Korea, court and police documents concerning sexual crimes are unavailable by law.

Oh Yeong-soo (left) seen here in ‘Squid Game’ (AP)

Oh has pleaded not guilty to the assault charges.

If the Suwon District Court judge rules him guilty, Oh could be fined up to $12,000 (£9,821) or get 10 years in prison.

The actor played Il-nam in Netflix’s Squid Game. As the eldest competitor in the dystopian competition, Il-nam was often referred to as “the old man” by other characters.

For his portrayal, Oh won a Golden Globe at the 2022 ceremony in January. His co-stars were quick to congratulate him on his win. Lee Jung-jae, who plays lead character Seong Gi‑Hun, wrote: “Mr Il-nam, congratulations. Every scene with my teacher was an honour.”

Meanwhile, Kim Joo-ryeong, who played Han Mi-neyo, added: “Heartiest congratulations yo you, sir. Stay healthy aways.”

Oh was also nominated for an Emmy for best supporting actor, but lost out to Matthew Macfadyen, who plays Tom in Succession.

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, you can contact your nearest Rape Crisis organisation for specialist, independent and confidential support. For more information, visit their website here.

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