SEOUL, March 7 (Korea Bizwire) — Kim Ki-duk, an internationally acclaimed filmmaker, has demanded actresses have sex with him and raped one of them, according to testimonies from victims.
MBC TV’s investigative news show “PD’s Notepad” on Tuesday exposed more dirt on alleged sexual misconduct involving Kim and actor Cho Jae-hyun, who has frequently appeared in the famed director’s films, through interviews with three actresses.
The revelations are the latest as the Me Too movement is spreading across South Korea’s male-dominated society with more and more victims coming forward to expose their own accounts of having suffered sexual misconduct.
An actress, who was not identified on the program, claimed that Kim demanded she have sex with him ahead of a film shoot in March 2013. She is the same actress who filed a complaint against the director for hitting and insulting her last year. The court fined him 5 million won (US$4,700).
The actress said Kim told her to lodge together with a female crew member of the film “Moebius” that she was cast in after having dinner with other cast and crew members during pre-production for the film.
“Whenever I tried to come out of the accommodations, he kept blocking me suggesting I sleep together with him. He continued to demand sex afterwards,” she said on the news show. She claimed that she was later fired because she rejected his repeated sexual demands.
The second actress, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said she had to endure nearly two hours of humiliating sexual language from the director when she met him at a cafe to audition for an acting role.
“I left the cafe with the excuse of going to the bathroom for a moment. I was out of my mind for a month after that,” she recalled.
The third actress said Kim began to grope her right after she was cast for his film and raped her during a film shoot.
“Director Kim and Cho Jae-hyun and his manager knocked on the door of my room like hyenas every night. When I was alone, I was so scared and hellish due to the anxiety that anyone might come to visit me,” said the unnamed actress.
She claimed she was raped by the director and the actor and that Cho’s manager attempted to rape her. “Since he was always obsessed with (sex), he seemed to make films for it,” she said.
Kim and Cho have collaborated for films like “Crocodile,” “Wild Animals,” “The Isle,” “Address Unknown,” “Bad Guy” and “Moebius.”
Kim denied the sexual assault allegations on PD’s Notepad, saying he has never used his position as a movie director to satisfy his personal desire.
Cho claimed about 80 percent of recent series of sex assault revelations involving him are false. “There are so many claims that are distorted,” he said.
The 53-year-old actor resigned as executive director of the DMZ International Documentary Film Festival, which he had led since 2009, and as professor of Kyungsung University in Busan, at the end of last month after an actress said she was sexually abused by him. He also pulled himself out of his main role in TV series “Cross,” which is currently being aired on the cable channel tvN.
Reporters have been unable to reach Kim. Repeated attempts to get a comment from him have gone unanswered.
Film industry insiders expressed rage and disappointment over the new revelations, saying, “We had no idea he went that far.”
“I wanted to turn to other channels when I saw the program,” a film company worker who saw the TV program said. “I just watched it until the end to face and cope with reality as a person engaging in the same industry. It was awful rather than shocking.”
Another film industry figure said Kim “trampled down on those with pure dreams.”
“I felt like movie industry people have a sense of vocation that they can give pleasure to someone and can tell through their films what the rest of society cannot tell.”
After the revelations, it became unclear whether Kim’s latest work will get domestic and overseas releases, according to its distributors.
His 23rd feature, “Human, Space, Time and Human,” was screened in the Panorama Special category of the 67th Berlin International Film Festival last month.