Korean Actor’sStruggle Amidst Sexual Assault Allegations | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Korean Actor’sStruggle Amidst Sexual Assault Allegations

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Kang was arrested in July ’19 (Image: Jiji Press. Some photos have been doctored.)

Will a famous celebrity who has made a grave mistake find the light to return to the entertainment industry?

On January 3, the Seoul Central District Court in South Korea dismissed a lawsuit filed by his former agency against actor Kang Ji-hwan (46), seeking 4.2 billion won (about 459 million yen) in damages. The court also struck down the provisional seizure of Kang’s real estate by the agency. Kang won the case.


Kang was convicted of sexually assaulting several female staff members. The office was seeking penalties and damages because the incident caused Kang to drop out of a drama in which he appeared. However, the court ruled that Kang’s exclusive contract had ended when the incident was discovered. The court refused to recognize the firm’s claim.

Kang is hoping to return to show business. However, when asked by several media outlets after winning the case, he responded, “I will think carefully about it.” It seems he avoided making a clear statement, possibly mindful of the societal impact of the guilty verdict.

FRIDAY Digital reported in detail on the sexual assault case Kang committed in an article distributed on October 16, 2022. We would like to reproduce the article and look back at the trouble that caused a stir in the Korean entertainment industry (some content has been corrected).

The production company was ordered to pay over 500 million yen in compensation.


The defendant’s appeal is dismissed without prejudice.

On October 12, 2022, the Grand Court of South Korea (equivalent to Japan’s Supreme Court) dismissed the appeal by Kang and his former agency and ordered the payment of compensation. The total amount was 5.3 billion won (approximately 530 million yen at the time). The drama production company A had filed a lawsuit demanding the return of the huge sum.

Before reporting on Kang’s serious case, let us introduce his colorful career.

After graduating from the prestigious Korean University, he made his debut in the musical “The Rocky Horror Show” in 2002. At first, he had many supporting roles, but in 2005, he played opposite the heroine in the drama “Ganbare! Geumsun,” in which he played opposite the heroine, became a big hit, recording a 40% viewer rating. The drama was also aired in Taiwan, and Kang quickly became a breakout star. Kang’s awards were also spectacular, including the Pusan Film Critics Award for Best New Male Actor.

Kang was at the peak of his career as an actor when he got into trouble in July 2019. He invited the staff of the drama in which he appeared, Joseon Survival Period, to a party at his home in Gwangju, Gyeonggi-do, central South Korea. However,

With  actress Baek Jin-hee, who co-starred in the production announcement of the drama “Feel Good to Die,” which aired in 2018 (PHOTO: Jiji Press)

Kang’s home is a three-story mansion. There is even a swimming pool and a hot spring on the roof. On the day of the event, he had been drinking alcohol with several people involved in the event since midday, and two female staff members were drunk. They were sleeping in their room. Kang enters the room where they were sleeping and locks the door. He then had forced sexual intercourse with one of them and committed indecent acts with the other one.

The crime was discovered when DNA on the women’s underwear matched Kang’s. Kang was arrested and charged with quasi-rape and quasi-forcible indecency. At trial, he was sentenced to two years and six months in prison, suspended for three years. At the same time, Kang was sentenced to 120 hours of community service and 40 hours of lectures on sexual assault treatment.

After the incident, Kang dropped out of the drama “Joseon Survival Period,” in which he had appeared, after the 12th episode. The film has a total of 20 episodes. The production company A, mentioned at the beginning of this article, was forced to film the remaining eight episodes with an understudy.

Immediately after the incident, The production company A filed a civil suit against Kang and his agency, seeking the return of the appearance fee he had paid in advance, a penalty, and compensation for damages Both the first and second trial courts upheld A’s suit. Kang and his agency appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, but the appeal was turned down and a huge compensation payment of over 500 million yen was decided.

Kang was forced to pay compensation to the production company, but his office’s appeal was dismissed. Now that he has completed his probationary period, will public opinion readily approve his return to show business?

Kang was ordered to pay over 500 million yen in compensation to the production company (Image: Jiji Press)
  • PHOTO Jiji Press

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