‘Squid Game’ star guilty of sexual assault


South Korea’s Squid Gameactor O Yeong-su was found guilty on charges of sexual misconduct, a local court said on Friday. He was charged in 2017 with assaulting a woman.

In 2022, the 79-year-old became the first South Korean to receive a Golden Globe award for best actor in a supporting role for his portrayal of an apparently vulnerable old man in the Netflix hit.

The actor was given an eight-month prison sentence suspended for two years, the Seongnam branch of the Suwon District Court told AFP.

He must also attend 40 hours of classes on sexual violence, the court ordered.

The victim’s testimony and her allegations “were not contradictory and it seems as if the statements cannot be made unless the person experienced it himself,” said judge Jeong Yeon-ju.

On two occasions in 2022, O was charged with sexually assaulting a woman, whose name has not been disclosed. He was not taken into custody.

The incidents took place in 2017 when O stayed in a rural area for a theater performance. This took place respectively on a footpath and in front of the victim’s house, according to the Suwon court.

Squid Game is a series depicting a dystopian world where outcasts are forced to participate in deadly versions of traditional children’s games. It soon gained enormous popularity on Netflix. Within four weeks of its release in 2021, a total of 111 million people had already watched it.

The show’s success highlighted South Korea’s growing influence on international pop culture following international fame by K-pop music group BTS and Oscar-winning movie Parasite.

Several figures in South Korea’s film industry, including the late filmmaker Kim Ki-duk and actor Cho Jae-hyun, have been accused of sexual misconduct.