SEOUL, Mar. 6 (Korea Bizwire) — A provincial governor offered to resign early Tuesday amid allegations that he sexually abused a female secretary as the “Me Too” movement began to spread to political circles.
An Hee-jung, a prominent liberal politician, apologized and offered to step down as governor of the central South Chungcheong Province, hours after his secretary for political affairs revealed that he forced her to have sex four times over the past eight months.
In a prime-time TV interview late Monday, the victim, Kim Ji-eun, also said she will file a complaint against An. Local police began investigating the case Tuesday.
“I feel very sorry to all … Above all, I am deeply sorry to Ms. Kim Ji-eun, who has suffered because of me,” An wrote on Facebook. He added that his office’s reported claim that the sexual relationship was consensual was “false.”
“I seek forgiveness for my silly action. It is all my fault,” he added.
An, seen as a potential presidential candidate, said he would suspend all of his political activities.
The revelations came amid the fast spread of the Me Too campaign in education, culture, arts and other sectors.
An’s party, the ruling Democratic Party, on Monday made an official apology, saying it would take steps to expel him.
The allegations came as political parties are gearing up for the local elections set for June.
Meanwhile, a group of An’s supporters on Twitter, called Team Steelbird, withdrew their support for him, pledging to help Kim and prevent more women from being victimized.
“Through the news report, it has become evident that his philosophy and value was all bogus,” the group said. “The assailant’s political philosophy no longer carries any meaning for us.”