South Korean filmmaker accused of rape

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Seoul, March 7 (IANS) South Korean filmmaker Kim Ki-duk has been accused of rape by multiple actresses. He has denied the charges.

Several actresses opened up about sexual abuse allegations — including rape — by Kim Ki-duk on the Tuesday edition of “PD Notebook”, a South Korean investigative news show.

A former actress, who asked to remain anonymous on the programme, said Ki-duk sexually harassed her multiple times during pre-production for a film she was cast in, reports hollywoodreporter.com.

During production, when cast and crew members lodged together, she said the director raped her in her room following repeated attempts to violate her.

She claimed, however, that she was raped by not only the director but also the now disgraced actor Cho Jae-hyun.

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Ki-duk and Jae-hyun are among South Korean cinema’s iconic collaborators.

Last month, the veteran actor announced his resignations from both a local university and film festival organising committee, admitting that he was “guilty”, when several female crew members of theatre and TV productions reported his sexual misconduct.

The actress said Jae-hyun’s manager also attempted to rape her during the filming.

Another actress claimed she was fired from a leading role in Ki-duk’s film because she refused him sex.

A male crew member who briefly worked for the director and a male filmmaker agreed to give interviews for the programme, but only after being promised complete anonymity.

Both said that “horrifying incidents” have notoriously occurred on the set of the director’s films but people kept silent because nobody dared lash out against a powerful man like Ki-duk.

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A third actress said she was cast for one of Ki-duk’s projects but left after she fled during a pre-production meeting, pretending she needed to use the restroom.

She “felt scared” as Ki-duk verbally harassed her with inappropriate sexual remarks and questions, such as asking her about the colour of her private body parts.

The director, meanwhile, sent the creators of “PD Notebook” a message of denial, according to hollywoodreporter.com.

Parts of the message revealed on the show read: “The #MeToo movement continues to become increasingly drastic… and bury people alive even before the truth has been revealed.

“I’ve never fulfilled my personal desires through movies.”

He also said: “I have stolen a kiss… but never did anything beyond that without a woman’s consent” and that “I have been involved in intimate relationships but it was always consensual. I am, however, ashamed of this as a married family man.”

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–IANS

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