As we reported yesterday, the #MeToo Movement has just gained traction in South Korea. Sexual assault, harassment, and misconduct allegations have been both declared and proven in a variety of industries, including the entertainment and art world.
Actor Jo Min Ki taught as a professor at Cheongju university, but he resigned after a former student accused him abusing his position to prey on her and others. Jo attempted to claim that he was innocent, but stepped down and admitted to a history of harassment after at least twenty others stepped forward with stories and accounts,
Jo’s wife found him unresponsive in the basement of their apartment building. The police were called, but he was already deceased. While no official confirmation of the cause of death has been named, various media outlets are reporting that it was a suicide.
Jo had been scheduled to be questioned by the police, but with the suspect deceased, the case has since been dropped.
The 53-year-old actor was known for his major roles on the television series Love and Ambition, East of Eden,Queen Seondeok, and Flames of Desire. When the accusations against him first went public, Jo dropped out of filming for the upcoming show Children of a Lesser God.
Reporter Kang Il Hong, a friend of the actor, also publicly revealed the contents of what might have been one of Jo’s final phone conversations, just three hours before his passing.
In the audio of the conversation, Jo states that his questioning with the police was delayed so he could attend his daughter’s college graduation. He also shares with Kang that his cellphone had been confiscated by the authorities.
Kang added that Jo made several calls to an assortment of relatives, colleagues, and friends to apologize for his actions.
Kang believes that Jo felt that he hadn’t been able to properly express his apologies to his family because his first order of business was making amends to his victims.
A letter of apology written by Jo to the victims and the university, released posthumously, reads as follows:
Everything is my fault, my crime.
I was caught off-guard by it all and as time passed that became increasingly difficult for me to bear, I became a cowardly person who evaded and denied the issue.
I am ashamed and sorry. During the past seven years, I had no choice but to become a stern professor to my juniors who had begun the difficult path to become an actor.
In private, I tried to let go of that sternness. I want to apologize from the bottom of my heart to the juniors who felt humiliated or ashamed in that situation.
I am both sorry to you and grateful that at least now I can repent of my arrogance and wrongdoing.
Finally, I apologize to Cheongju University and the students of the theater department who are still devoting themselves sincerely to their art.
Via All K Pop