Actor Arrested on Sexual Assault Charges

Jay Yim, July 12, 2019, 9:20 a.m.

South Korean police arrested a popular actor Friday on allegations of raping and sexually assaulting two female production staffers.

The Suwon District Court issued the arrest warrant for Kang Ji-hwan, 41, saying he could destroy evidence. Police took him into custody Tuesday night.

Kang is suspected of raping and molesting the two employees of a production outsourcing company while they were sleeping in a room at his house in Gwangju, just south of Seoul. They had a drinking session at his home following a party with other members of Kang's agency in another location.

During an interrogation with investigators, Kang was quoted as saying, "I can remember that I had a drink with them, but I have no memory afterwards. I woke up to find myself in the same room where they were sleeping."

Kang is currently starring in the drama "Joseon Survival," aired by the local cable TV network TV Chosun.

In a statement released Wednesday, Huayi Brothers Entertainment Co., Kang's agency and the producer of the drama, apologized over the actor's alleged sexual misconduct and vowed to have him cooperate with police in the investigation.

"We take full responsibility for not thoroughly managing our actors and for the seriousness of the incident," the company said, adding Kang will cancel all of his scheduled activities.

TV Chosun said it will cancel the drama's installments for this week and is in talks with Huayi Brothers to discuss whether to continue the drama.

Kang, whose birth name is Jo Tae-gyu, began his career in musical theatre in 2001 and has since starred in television dramas, such as "Be Strong, Geum-soon!," "Capital Scandal" and "Hong Gil-dong," as well as the films "Rough Cut " and "My Girlfriend Is an Agent."

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