'Squid Game' Star O Yeong-su Indicted in South Korea

A Squid Game actor has been indicted on sexual misconduct charges that he says are bogus. O Yeong-su, the South Korean actor known for his performance in the Netflix smash hit series, was indicted on Thursday. The incident stems from an incident five years ago in which O allegedly inappropriately touched the body of a woman. The 78-year-old was released without detention after being charged, prosecutors in Suwon, near Seoul, revealed Friday, according to local reports and AFP, per Deadline.

The woman, who was not identified, originally filed the complaint in December of last year. Although authorities closed the case in April, it was reopened after the victim appealed. O denied the sexual misconduct allegations raised against him when questioned by prosecutors, according to the local Yonhap news agency. In a statement to Korean news broadcaster JTBC, the actor explained, "I just held her hand to guide the way around the lake. I apologized because [the person] said she wouldn't make a fuss about it but it doesn't mean that I admit the charges."

74th Primetime Emmys – Arrivals
(Photo:

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 12: Oh Yeong-su attends the 74th Primetime Emmys at Microsoft Theater on September 12, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.

- Momodu Mansaray / Getty Images)

An official from the Suwon District Prosecutor's Office told local reporters that everything reported by local media is not factually correct, according to the AFP. The agency added that the Korean ministry of culture recently pulled a government TV commercial featuring O off the air following the incident. Further information regarding the case is not available at this time.

Born in 1944 in Kaepung, which is now a North Korean border town, O began acting in 1963 as part of a theatre crew called "The Square." His decades-long career has seen him become considered one of South Korea's greatest stage actors. He has appeared in more than 200 stage productions since 1963 and won a number of major awards. He was best known as the old monk in Kim Ki-duk's much-awarded Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring, though he gained further international attention with the 2021 release of Netflix's Squid Game. From director Hwang Dong-hyuk, the series follows a group of people who accept a mysterious invitation to participate in a life-or-death survival game. O starred in Season 1 as Il-nam, the oldest game participant also referred to as Player 001. The role earned O a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in Television at the 2021 Golden Globes, making him the first Korean actor to win a Golden Globe.

In an interview on South Korean TV in September, O opened up about how his life has changed since Squid Game's premiere, revealing, "I feel like I'm in the air. So I'm trying to calm myself down now so I can restrain myself. When I go to cafes or other places, I become self-conscious. Being a famous actor was hard too." Squid Game has been renewed by Netflix for Season 2.