Squid Game actor Oh Young-soo found guilty of indecent assault

Squid Game actor Oh Young-soo has been found guilty of indecent assault in a South Korean court.

The 79-year-old Netflix star became internationally recognisable in 2021 when he played the “Old Man”, Oh Il-nam, in the streamer’s Korean-language dystopian game show drama.

On Friday (15 March), Oh was given an eight-month suspended sentence and ordered to attend 40 hours of classes on sexual violence, following a former co-star’s claim that he touched her inappropriately while working together in 2017.

The co-star, who has not been named, filed a complaint against Oh in 2021, which led to him being charged by prosecutors in 2022.

The verdict and sentencing were announced at a district court in Seongnam, a city southeast of the country’s capital, Seoul.

A charge of indecent assault has the potential to carry a 10-year prison sentence in South Korea, or a fine of up to 15 million won (£8,800). However, last month prosecutors announced that they were only seeking a one-year sentence and an employment ban if convicted.

The actor repeatedly denied the charge when questioned.

Squid Game actor Oh Young-soo (AFP via Getty Images)
Squid Game actor Oh Young-soo (AFP via Getty Images)

In November 2022, Oh said that he had only held the accuser’s hand to guide her way during a walk around a lake.

He also said that he had apologised to her, not as an admission of wrongdoing but to quell any further issues, as she had allegedly told him that she would not draw attention to his behaviour if he did so.

“I am sorry,” he told reporters while walking into his first court hearing in February 2023. “I think I behaved badly.”

Oh is considered one of South Korea’s foremost theatre actors, and has starred in more than 200 plays since 1968. Months before he was charged in November 2022, Oh became the first South Korean actor to win a Golden Globe.

Oh Young-soo in Squid Game as Player 001, Oh Il-nam (The Old Man) (Netflix)
Oh Young-soo in Squid Game as Player 001, Oh Il-nam (The Old Man) (Netflix)

He was awarded Best Supporting Actor for his role in Squid Game, as a mysterious older player in a nightmarish competition that sees ordinary people gambling their lives for the chance of a life-changing cash prize.

Oh was also nominated for an Emmy for his performance on the show.

Following the court charges, Oh has been dropped from a forthcoming film titled About Family by the South Korean director Woo-seok Yang.

In February, the film’s distribution company Lotte Entertainment told South Korean media that it was deleting all of Oh’s scenes and reshooting them with another actor, Lee Soon-jae.

Oh will also not appear in the second season of Squid Game, slated to arrive on Netflix later this year.