Squid Game 001 star found guilty of sexual misconduct

Daisy Phillipson
O Yeong-su as Player 001 in Squid Game

Squid Game star O Yeong-su, who starred as Player 001 in the Netflix series, has been found guilty of sexual misconduct.

Squid Game quickly became the world’s most popular show when it arrived on Netflix in 2021, earning a record-breaking 1.65 billion hours viewers in the first four weeks.

The Korean thriller was the start of a new mega-franchise, with the hit reality show Squid Game: The Challenge proving a hit, and much anticipation building for the upcoming Season 2.

While some familiar faces from the first chapter will return – including our protagonist Lee Jung-jae, aka Player 456 – one character who won’t be back is his counterpart.

Squid Game star O Yeong-su found guilty of sexual misconduct

Squid Game actor O Yeong-su has been found guilty of sexual misconduct by a South Korean court, receiving an eight-month suspended prison sentence on Friday, March 15.

The Oh Il-nam (Player 001) star was initially indicted in 2022 on allegations that he had sexually assaulted a woman twice in 2017. According to AFP, local reports stated at the time that the unidentified woman first filed a complaint against O in December 2021.

The allegations state that O hugged a woman and kissed her on the cheek against her will while staying in a rural area for a theater gig. Judge Jeong Yeon-ju said the victim’s claims were “consistent… and appear to be statements that cannot be made without actually experiencing them.”

“What’s written in the victim’s diary, and the counseling report of the victim after the incident pretty much match the details of this case,” the court added.

As well as the sentence of up to eight months in prison, suspended for two years, the Seongnam Branch of the Suwon District Court ordered the 79-year-old to attend sexual offender classes.

In 2022, he refuted the claims, saying in a statement shared with JTBC: “I just held her hand to guide the way around the lake. I apologized because [the person] said she wouldn’t make a fuss about it but it doesn’t mean that I admit the charges.”

The actor is planning on appealing the sentence, and has a seven-day deadline.

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