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Kim Ki-duk fires back at accusers

Mired in sexual misconduct allegations, controversial director maintains innocence

Despite the multiple testimonies of alleged sexual misconduct against him, filmmaker Kim Ki-duk remains adamant he is innocent, and has even gone on to bash his accusers as being ungrateful.

“Making movies, I think I have respected actors and staff in my own way. Some parts may have been disappointing, but it is sad that (the accusers) are repaying my kindness in a hurtful way,” Kim said in front of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office.

The disgraced director has filed false accusation and defamation suits against three actresses and MBC’s “PD Notebook” for falsely accusing him of sexual harassment and sexual assault. He appeared before prosecutors Tuesday as a plaintiff for the lawsuit.

Filmmaker Kim Ki-duk speaks to press at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office on Tuesday. (Yonhap)
Filmmaker Kim Ki-duk speaks to press at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office on Tuesday. (Yonhap)

The acclaimed art house director denied the charges against him, saying, “I didn’t live like that. I didn’t do something that the TV show portrayed.”

His complaint reportedly read, “As a man with a family, I cannot say that I haven’t done something embarrassing. But I am not the rapist that ‘PD Notebook’ depicted me to be.”

“The show consisted of testimonies, rather than evidence,” Kim said. “I have made 23 films in the past 22 years and made my own results. ‘PD Notebook’ is a ruthless show, not having the least respect for such a director.”

An unnamed actress sued Kim last year for sexually and physically harassing her on set. The case was dropped by the prosecution in December due to a lack of evidence, though Kim was fined by the court in a summary order for slapping the actress in the face. The actress appealed the decision to the court, but was denied.

In March, MBC’s investigative “PD Notebook” reported sexual misconduct allegations against Kim, featuring testimonies from the actress who had sued Kim and two additional actresses. One accused him of sexually harassing her at an interview, while the other said Kim, actor Cho Jae-hyun and his manager raped her.

When questioned as to why it took some time for him to sue the accusers, Kim said, he had been going through a “hard time.”

“It was like being bombed in the middle of the night. I was in a panic, unable to make any value judgement. It was an unimaginable event,” he said, adding it took a while for matters to be legally sorted out.

It was the director’s first public appearance since the Berlin Film Festival this year. He was invited to the event for his recent film “Human, Space, Time and Human.”

“What makes me the saddest is that (‘PD Notebook’) show was aired before the release of the film. The release was canceled. Actors and staff are desperately waiting for the premiere. The damage is grave,” he said.

He will get the film screened, even if he has to pay for it, Kim said. He also revealed his future plans.

“A major foreign producer suggested co-producing, I am preparing it with my script. The shooting will start in October and I will be directing the production,” Kim said.

Meanwhile, it was reported Monday that Kim is going through divorce proceedings.

By Im Eun-byel (
Korea Herald Youtube