Top South Korea director Kim Ki-duk accused of rape

Women and men around the world are taking part in the #MeToo movement. (Shutterstock)
Updated 07 March 2018
0

Top South Korea director Kim Ki-duk accused of rape

SEOUL: A South Korean actress has accused award-winning film director Kim Ki-duk and a top actor of rape, as the country’s nascent #MeToo movement begins to spiral.
The fresh allegations against Kim come after his presence at this year’s Berlin Film Festival caused controversy following a fine for physically assaulting a different actress.
In the latest case an actress, who refused to be named, said that Kim repeatedly tried to enter her hotel room when they were shooting a movie in a remote village several years ago.
“It was a living hell... so many nights, he came to my room and slammed the door or phoned me at the room repeatedly until I responded,” she told Seoul’s MBC television station.
Kim eventually summoned her to his room to “discuss a script,” she went on. “Then he raped me.”
The film’s male star Cho Jae-hyun also raped her, she said.
The two men “shared stories of raping actresses and there was a sense of competition between them,” she said in an investigation aired late Tuesday.
The actress said she had quit acting afterwards and was in therapy for years.
Her accusations come as the #MeToo movement gradually gains ground in South Korea, which remains socially conservative and patriarchal in many respects despite its economic and technological advances.
Earlier this week a provincial governor and former presidential contender resigned after an aide accused him of multiple rapes.
Kim — who has won prizes at the Berlin, Cannes and Venice film festivals — was fined 5 million won ($4,600) by prosecutors last year for physically assaulting an actress on set.
They dismissed sex abuse charges citing lack of evidence but the case sparked controversy at this year’s Berlinale, which invited Kim despite its support for the #MeToo campaign against abuse and mistreatment of women.
Kim told MBC television in text messages that he was only involved in “consensual sexual relationships.”
“I never tried to satisfy my personal desires using my status as a film director,” he added.
Kim has previously rejected abuse accusations against him, saying he ensures no one “suffers” on the sets of his ultraviolent, sexually explicit art movies.
Cho, who has starred in many of Kim’s movies and is known as his “alter ego” told the station he would talk about the accusations “once an investigation begins.”
“I’m panicking,” he said. “I am a sinner. But many of the things I see in news are so different from truth.”
Cho apologized last month after being accused of sexually abusing female crew members and students. He was fired from the college where he was teaching and removed from a TV drama production.
Another actress interviewed by MBC Tuesday said Kim repeatedly asked to see her breasts and her naked body during an audition process that felt “deeply humiliating.”
All three of Kim’s accusers remain anonymous for fear of public shaming.
Women in South Korea’s movie industry, both on screen or behind cameras, shy away from making open accusations against senior staffers or directors for fear of permanently damaging their careers.


Barbados appoints Ambassador Rihanna

Updated 22 September 2018
0

Barbados appoints Ambassador Rihanna

  • Rihanna's home country tasked her with promoting investment and tourism
  • The singer has scored 14 number-one singles on the US Billboard chart

NEW YORK: Rihanna is now Ambassador Rihanna, after her home country tasked her with promoting investment and tourism.
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley said that Rihanna — real name Robyn Rihanna Fenty — has been conferred the title of ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary.
While the singer will not be formally accredited to another country, Mottley said that Rihanna — whose more colorful songs include “Bitch Better Have My Money” — would be in charge of bringing investment as well as encouraging education and tourism.
“I couldn’t be more proud to take on such a prestigious title in my home country. Every Barbadian is going to have to play their role in this current effort, and I’m ready and excited to take on the responsibility,” Rihanna said in a statement dated Thursday.
Rihanna, 30, grew up in a troubled home in Barbados and was propelled to fame after visiting US producer Evan Rogers recognized her talents.
The singer, who since achieving stardom has lived primarily in Los Angeles and New York, has scored 14 number-one singles on the US Billboard chart, more than any artist except The Beatles, Elvis Presley and Mariah Carey.