O Yeong-su, 78, was indicted yesterday without detention over an allegation that he inappropriately touched a woman’s body five years ago. Local reports and AFP confirmed the news, which was then conveyed via Deadline in the early hours of the morning.
The star won a Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe for his performance in the hit Netflix show.
He played Oh Il-nam, the mysterious old man that befriends lead character Seong Gi-hun (Lee Jung-jae) in the brutal game with life-or-death stakes.
The case was closed earlier this year but reopened due to the victim appealing, according to local reports.
Local news source JTBC explained the actor had “held hands with the woman to show the way around a lake” and that, while he had apologised, this was not an admission of guilt.
The actor said in a statement to the outlet: “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.”
AFP also quoted a Suwon court official as saying that “everything reported by local media is not factually correct”.
The alleged victim filed a complaint against Oh in December last year, reports say.
The case was apparently closed by authorities back in April, but reopened again at the victim’s request, according to reports from the Yonhap news agency.
When he was questioned by prosecutors, the Korean star denied the allegations.
The agency also explained that the Korean ministry of culture cancelled a government TV commercial about regulatory innovation featuring the actor after the indictment.
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O has a career spanning five decades and has performed across film, television and theatre.
However, it wasn’t until he played the oldest participant in the Netflix series Squid Game he rose to fame on a global scale.
He has also appeared as King Lear in the classic Shakespearean play, as well as in the popular South Korean TV series Chocolate.
Created by Hwang Dong-hyuk, Squid Game follows a fictional competition where 456 desperate entrants risk their lives to win a huge cash prize.
The contestants are forced to participate in a series of children’s games, where they are killed off one by one until only the winning player is left.
The series quickly became one of Netflix’s most popular shows of all time, drawing in millions with its nail-biting story.