Oh Yeong-su, the Korean actor who recently won a Golden Globe for his performance in the hit series “Squid Game,” has been charged with sexual misconduct. He was released without custody.
Prosecutors in Suwon, near Seoul, revealed on Friday that they had charged Oh a day earlier. The 78-year-old Oh is said to have touched the body of a woman in mid-2017.
The alleged victim filed a complaint against Oh last December. Authorities closed the case in April but reopened it at the victim’s request, Yonhap news agency reports. Questioned by prosecutors, Oh denied the allegations.
In a statement Oh shared with Korean broadcaster JTBC, the actor said, “I just held her hand to guide the way around the lake. I apologized because [the person] said she didn’t want to make a fuss about it, but that doesn’t mean I’m admitting the charges.”
AFP news agency quoted a court in Suwon as saying that “everything reported by local media is not factually correct.”
The agency added that the Korean Ministry of Culture pulled a government television commercial on legislative innovation featuring Oh from the air following the accusation.
Born in 1944 in Kaesong, now part of North Korea, Oh moved with his family into the US-controlled South after the 38th parallel became a dividing line and before the Inter-Korean War.
He began performing professionally in 1967 and has spent most of his career in live theatre. As of 2013, he claimed to have appeared 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 the old monk in Kim Ki-duk’s highly-awarded “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter … and Spring.”
In Netflix’s “Squid Game,” Oh played the oldest contestant in the survival competition and appeared to be a friendly foil amid a mass of violent self-interest.
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 has reached out to Netflix for comment, but did not hear back by press time.