Seo Young-ju (left) and Lee Eun-woo in a scene from Moebius. Lee took over the role from another actress.

South Korean film director Kim Ki-duk accused by actress of assault on set of incest-themed Moebius

Prosecutors open criminal probe of award-winning filmmaker following actress’ accusation he slapped and insulted her and forced her into a nude scene on set of 2013 film; Kim’s agents call the accusations groundless

South Korean prosecutors opened a criminal investigation into multi-award-winning filmmaker Kim Ki-duk on Thursday amid allegations that he hit an actress while shooting a movie, a spokesman said.

Kim’s glittering career prizes include the Golden Lion for best film at the 2012 Venice Film Festival for Pieta.

According to the South’s Yonhap news agency, an actress whose identity is being withheld filed a complaint with prosecutors accusing Kim of slapping her in the face on the set of his 2013 film Moebius, insulting her and forcing her into a nude scene.

She subsequently quit the movie, a thriller themed around incest, and her role was taken over by another actress.

A criminal complaint has been filed against Kim Ki-duk (pictured), a spokesman for prosecutors said. Photo; AFP

“A criminal complaint has been filed against director Kim Ki-duk and prosecutors have opened a probe into the case”, the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office spokesman said.

He declined to elaborate, citing privacy.

Kim’s agents denied the allegations as groundless, adding they would issue a detailed comment later.

Moebius was initially banned from being screened in South Korea on grounds of obscenity before being allowed to be released after some controversial scenes were removed.

It was screened out of the competition at the 70th Venice Film Festival in September 2013, and was screened in Hong Kong a month later as part of the Hong Kong Asian Film Festival.

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Top director accused of assaulting actress on film set