Women try to look 'filthy' to avoid harassment by S. Korean director

SEOUL • The women on acclaimed South Korean director Kim Ki-duk's production team learnt to turn up at work looking "like a filthy bum" if they wanted to avoid any sexual harassment from him.

This revelation was made by a make-up artist on MBC's investigative news show PD's Notepad.

After airing claims of sexual harassment and assault against Kim and actor Cho Jae-hyun in March, the show followed up with another expose, reported The Korea Herald.

Tuesday's edition noted that the women who came forward with allegations are now suffering from the stress of having their identities revealed, the pressure of lawsuits and the fear of revenge.

In June, Kim sued the actresses who had accused him of sexual abuse and the show for defamation and false accusations.

Tuesday's show featured additional women who also claimed to be victims of sexual abuse by Kim and Cho.

Members of film staff, who had worked with Kim, said they were sexually harassed.

One said she was asked to sleep with Kim while another said he groped her.

An actress sued by Cho said she had been taking too many pills after the incident and was worried that she would not be able to conceive. She did not say what kind of pills they were.

Another woman, who is not working in the entertainment sector, said she was sexually harassed by Cho at a karaoke session.

Kim had applied unsuccessfully for an injunction against airing the show two days before the Tuesday broadcast.

He said through his lawyer that he hopes "the truth is revealed through an official legal procedure, not through a court of public opinion".

The lawyer said Kim had been labelled as a rapist without an investigation or a trial, calling on the accusers to file charges rather than use the media as their mouthpiece.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 10, 2018, with the headline 'Women try to look 'filthy' to avoid harassment by S. Korean director'. Print Edition | Subscribe