Top South Korean film director Kim Ki-Duk accused of assault
South Korean director Kim Ki-Duk speaking during an event at the 19th Busan International Film Festival in Busan on October 5, 2014. AFP / Jung Yeon-Je

 03 Aug 2017 - 18:45

Top South Korean film director Kim Ki-Duk accused of assault

AFP

Seoul:  South Korean prosecutors opened a criminal investigation into multi-award-winning filmmaker Kim Ki-Duk on Thursday over allegations that he hit an actress while shooting a movie, a spokesman said.

Kim's glittering career prizes include the Golden Lion for best film at the 2012 Venice Film Festival for "Pieta" and Berlin's Silver Bear for "Samaritan Girl" in 2004.

According to the South's Yonhap news agency, an actress whose identity is being withheld filed a complaint with prosecutors accusing Kim of slapping her in the face on the set of his 2013 film "Moebius", insulting her and forcing her into a nude scene.

She subsequently quit the movie, a thriller themed around incest, and her role was taken over by another actress.

"A criminal complaint has been filed against director Kim Ki-Duk and prosecutors have opened a probe into the case", the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office spokesman told AFP.

He declined to elaborate, citing privacy.

In a statement, Kim said he would "take responsibility for his wrongdoing" but denied allegations of assault.

"Since it was four years ago, I don't have a clear memory but it happened in the process of demonstrating how to make the acting more real," he said, adding they were filming a violent scene about a fight between a married couple.

"In any case, it happened as I focused on efforts to increase the film's reality as a director... and I had no personal feelings," Kim added.

"Moebius" was initially banned from being screened in South Korea on grounds of obscenity before being allowed to be released after some controversial scenes were removed.

It was screened out of the competition at the 70th Venice Film Festival.