Veteran actor Jo Min-ki found hanging himself near his residence

Lim Chang-won Reporter Posted : 2018-03-09 18:05 Updated : 2018-03-09 18:07
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[Will Entertainment]

SEOUL -- Veteran actor Jo Min-ki was found to have hanged himself Friday in an apparent suicide near his residence, three days before a police interrogation on charges of sexually harassing his provincial college students.

Police said Jo, 52,  was found dead by his wife in a warehouse at the underground parking lot of a residential building in eastern Seoul. The ill-fated actor was expelled as a drama professor at a university in Cheongju south of Seoul last month over a string of sexual abuse allegations. He was to appear at a police station on Monday for questioning.

Jo, who made his debut as a theatrical actor in 1982, had successfully expanded his career, appearing in many TV dramas and movies. He became the first fatal victim in South Korea's #MeToo movement which began in January after a female prosecutor claimed that she was sexually harassed by a drunken senior prosecutor in 2010.

[Photo by Yoo Dae-gil =]

In a separate MeToo case on Friday, An Hee- jung , a disgraced provincial governor who was once regarded as a potential presidential candidate of South Korea's ruling Democratic Pary, turned up at the office of prosecution in Seoul for questioning on charges of sexually abusing his female secretary.

On Tuesday, An, 54, stepped down as governor of the South Chungcheong Province after his secretary identified as Kim Ji-eun insisted she was forced to have sex with the governor four times.

President Moon Jae-in has expressed his "strong" support for the #MeToo movement, calling for an active criminal investigation to eradicate sexual harassment.  There have been revelations against a dozen famous figures including Ko Un, an 84-year-old poet respected as South Korea's iconic poet whose works were translated and published in dozens of countries with his name often mentioned as a Nobel Prize candidate.