Kang Ji-hwan, the lead actor of ongoing TV Chosun drama Joseon Survival, was arrested Tuesday night on charges of sexual assault.
The actor reportedly attended a company dinner on July 9 and returned home in Gwangju with two female employees from his agency (Huayi Brothers Korea) to have more drinks. Later that night, he allegedly went into the room where the two women were sleeping and committed sexual assault on one (hereafter “A”) of them and indecent assault on the other (hereafter “B”).
The police became aware of the incident when “A” texted one of her friends in Seoul at 9:41 p.m., saying, “I had some drinks at actor Kang Ji-hwan’s house, and now we’re trapped.” She asked her friend to report it to the police, which arrived at Kang Ji-hwan’s home past 10 p.m. and arrested the actor after being told by “A” that she has been sleeping when he sexually assaulted her.
Kang Ji-hwan, still intoxicated, said at the police station that he knows he had had drinks but does not remember “anything after that.” “When I opened my eyes, I was in the room where [“A”] was sleeping,” he added.
The actor is currently detained at the police station for further questioning.
Victim and witness
One of the victims of the alleged crime already testified against Kang Ji-hwan and stated that she witnessed the actor attempting to sexually assault her colleague while they were sleeping in a room in his home. It is unclear as to whether this victim is “A” or “B.”
According to the victim, she suddenly woke up and screamed after seeing Kang Ji-hwan’s actions, which led him stop his attempts. She believe that she had suffered a similar situation judging from the fact that her clothes were in disarray upon her waking up.
The other victim is said to have also given her testimony to the police. Both of their statements reportedly seemed to have matched up.
The two women are outsourced staff members of Huayi Brothers Korea.
Through its official statement on July 10, the agency made a public apology “for causing trouble to many people due to this unfortunate incident” but did not say anything about whether or not Kang Ji-hwan actually committed sexual assault.
The agency realize the severity of the matter and feel responsible somehow for not managing Kang thoroughly. However, it “feel cautious about commenting as the police investigation is ongoing and the investigation results have not been announced yet.”
It also asked for the understanding of the public “in being cautious about releasing a statement” for the protection of their two staff members. Lastly, it announced that “Kang Ji-hwan will cancel all scheduled activities and diligently cooperate with the police investigation.”
No broadcast this week
Meanwhile, a source from TV Chosun revealed on July 10 that the cable network will not air this week’s episodes and reruns of Joseon Survival amid the actor’s arrest.
It also commented on the future of the drama, saying, “We need to have discussions with the production company [Huayi Brothers Korea]. Things will be undecided until the production company’s position [on the matter] is revealed.”
The 20-episode drama, which airs on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:50 p.m. Korean Standard Time, premiered on June 8 and has aired 10 episodes so far. The filming for the entire series is not complete, so it remains to be seen how badly Joseon Survival will be affected by Kang Ji-hwan’s arrest.
Joseon Survival is a fantasy drama about a professional-archer-turned-delivery-man, played by Kang Ji-hwan, who ends up traveling back in time along with his younger sister and first love due a strange incident. Starring with Kang in the drama are Kyung Soo-jin, Song Won-seok, Park Se-wan, and Lee Jae-yoon.
Kang Ji-wan’s most recent dramas include Feel Good To Die (2018), Children Of A Lesser God (2018), Monster (2016), Big Man (2014), Incarnation of Money (2011), and Lie To Me (2011).
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