South Korean actor accused of sexual assault found dead; suicide suspected


53-year-old South Korean actor accused of sexual assault in a spiralling wave of #MeToo accusations in the country was found dead last Friday.

Jo Min-ki, who had been accused of sexually molesting at least eight victims, was found dead at his home in Seoul, The Yonhap News agency cited police as saying, adding suicide was suspected.

Most of his victims were drama students at Cheongiu University, where he taught, it said,  he had been forced out of his professorship over the scandal.

Police said Jo’s wife found his body in an underground parking lot three days before he was due to be questioned about the allegations made against him.

Photos: South Korean actor accused of sexual assault found dead; suicide suspected

His roles were mainly in television series, but he also appeared in a number of films. Early this month, he also dropped out of a TV role and was dumped by his agency.

He was first accused of sexual abuse in mid-february but dismissed the allegations as rumour.

But confronted with evidence that included lewd text messages he had sent,  he admitted his behaviour, apologized and promised to cooperate with police.

“Everything is my fault,  and I am the one to blame,” he had said in a statement, according to BBC.

“I am deeply sorry to all the victims for the pain I’ve caused, and from here on out, I will not avoid the social and legal consequences of my mistakes,” he wrote.

The #MeToo movement has gradually gained ground in South Korea, which remains socially conservative and patriarchal in many respects despite its economic and technological advances.

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