POST TIME: 8 March, 2019 00:00 00 AM
S Korean film director sues rights group over '#MeToo damages'
AFP, Seoul

S Korean film director sues rights group over '#MeToo damages'

A famed South Korean film director who was accused of sexual abuse has filed a lawsuit against a women's rights group over "damages" caused by the #MeToo movement against him, a Seoul court said Thursday. Kim Ki-duk, 58, is one of the nation's top filmmakers whose awards include the Golden Lion at the 2012 Venice Film Festival for "Pieta" and Berlin's 2004 Silver Bear for Best Director.

But an actor in 2017 accused him of sexual and physical abuse, saying he forced her into unscripted sexual scenes and slapped her repeatedly while shooting his 2013 award-winning film "Moebius", before replacing her with another actor.

Later that year, prosecutors dropped the sex abuse charge citing lack of evidence but fined Kim five million won ($4,600) for physical assault under a procedure to settle minor cases out of court. Last month, Kim filed a compensation suit worth 300 million won ($265,000) against Womenlink, an influential women's rights group in Seoul that campaigned on the actor's behalf, a spokeswoman for the Seoul Western District Court told AFP.The director claims his reputation has been "significantly damaged" especially after the group asked an international film festival to cancel their invitation to Kim, citing allegations of sexual abuse made against him, the Womenlink group said.