Film director Kim Ki-duk sues #MeToo actresses for libel

Lim Chang-won Reporter Posted : 2018-06-05 15:16 Updated : 2018-06-05 15:16
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[Photo by Yoo Dae-gil =]

SEOUL -- After living in obscurity for months, Kim Ki-duk, an award-winning South Korean filmmaker noted for his idiosyncratic art-house cinematic works, filed a libel lawsuit against three actresses, insisting he has suffered from "tremendous" damage by malicious and false #MeToo revelations.

Kim, 57, recently filed complaints with prosecutors to sue the three unidentified actresses and MBC TV's investigative news show "PD's Notepad" for libel. The case was disclosed on Sunday.  

Kim went into hiding in March when "PD's Notepad" revealed alleged sexual harassment or assault. An actress claimed to have endured verbal sex abuse during her two-hour meeting with Kim for an audition and a second one argued that during a film shooting, she was raped by Kim and actor Cho Jae-hyun

A third actress accused the director of making repeated demands for sex and forcing her to shoot nude takes without prior consent in 2013 for Kim's movie "Moebius". Upon refusing his demand, she claimed to have lost her role.

Originally, her case was brought to court in December last year and Kim was slapped with a fine of five million won ($4,673) for slapping her in the face. However, sexual harassment charges were dropped due to a lack of evidence.

In his suit, Kim argued he was not a rapist as described in the TV program which he said was based on "malicious false facts" and caused tremendous damage to him.

Kim, who is one of the most important contemporary Asian film directors, has received a number of awards from the Berlin, Venice and Cannes festivals, including Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival in 2012 for "Pieta". But he had to lead a secluded life after PD's Notepad exposed instances of sexual assault by Kim and Cho who have been involved in "Moebius" and "The Isle", which play on the themes of sex and violence.

Kim has maintained that he never used his position to satisfy his personal desire. Cho has been inactive since he was involved in other #MeToo revelations in February.

This story was contributed by Jazin Wee, an editorial assistant.