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S. Korean actor accused of sexual assault found dead

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SEOUL — A South Korean actor accused of sexual assault was found dead Friday, reports said, as a wave of #MeToo accusations sweeps the country’s still male-dominated society. Jo Min-ki, 52, who had been accused of sexually molesting at least eight victims, was found hanged in a storage area in the building where he lived in Seoul, Yonhap news agency cited police as saying, adding suicide was suspected. Most of his victims were drama students at a provincial university where he taught, it said, adding he had been forced out of his professorship over the scandal, leaving his career in tatters. Jo’s roles were mainly in television series, but he also appeared in a number of films. Allegations of abuse have been made against prominent men in fields ranging from politics to the arts. In the arts, the most high-profile figures to be accused are award-winning film director Kim Ki-duk and poet Ko Un. An actress who refused to be named accused Kim and a top actor of rape, saying she had quit acting afterwards and was in therapy for years. The allegations came after Kim’s presence at this year’s Berlin Film Festival caused controversy following a fine for physically assaulting a different actress. Kim told MBC television in text messages that he was only involved in “consensual sexual relationships.” Seoul poet Choi Young-Mi accused Ko Un, a top poet regularly tipped for the Nobel Prize for literature, of sexually abusing many women in literary circles, after publishing a thinly veiled poem “Monster” in which she detailed her experiences at his hands. His works and almost all references to him and two other alleged perpetrators will be erased from school textbooks, Seoul’s education ministry said this week. Ko denied the allegations against him in a statement to the Guardian. — AFP