Squid Game star Oh Yeong-su charged after sexual misconduct allegation

Squid Game actor Oh Yeong-su has been indicted for an alleged sexual misconduct offence.

The 78-year-old performer was charged in Suwon, near Seoul in South Korea, on Thursday (24 November)

Prosecutors revealed on Friday (25 November) that the actor had been released without detention.

It is alleged that he touched a woman’s body inappropriately in 2017. The unnamed woman reportedly made a complaint against the actor in December 2021, but the case was closed by authorities in April this year.

The matter was reopened at the victim’s request, according to a report from the Yonhap news agency.

Oh has denied the claim.

In a statement shared with Korean broadcaster JTBC, the actor said: “I just held her hand to guide the way around the lake.

“I apologised because [the person] said she wouldn’t make a fuss about it but it doesn’t mean that I admit the charges.”

Oh Yeong-su (AFP via Getty Images)
Oh Yeong-su (AFP via Getty Images)

The actor played Il-nam in the acclaimed series. As the eldest competitor in the dystopian competition, Il-nam was often referred to as “the old man” by other characters.

For his portrayal, Oh won a Golden Globe at the 2022 ceremony in January. His co-stars were quick to congratulate him on his win; Lee Jung-jae, who plays lead character Seong Gi‑Hun, wrote: “Mr Il-nam, congratulations. Every scene with my teacher was an honour.”

Meanwhile, Kim Joo-ryeong, who played Han Mi-neyo, added: “Heartiest congratulations yo you, sir. Stay healthy aways.”

Oh was also nominated for an Emmy for best supporting actor, but lost out to Matthew Macfadyen, who plays Tom in Succession.

Before Squid Game, Oh had mostly acted in theatre productions. In 2013, he claimed to have performed in more than 200 stage productions, including Korean adaptations of A Streetcar Named Desire and Goethe’s Faust.