'I screamed and defended myself': Kang Ji-hwan's assault victims recount their experience
The Joseon Survival actor has since admitted his actions and has been terminated from his agency.
After Korean actor Kang Ji-hwan’s arrest for sexual assault on Jul 9, his two victims have come forward to recount their experience. They told their story to Korean news outlet Chosun Ilbo, which was published on Jul 16.
The interview was held before the Joseon Survival actor, who has since been terminated from his agency, admitted to all charges on Jul 15.
His lawyer issued a statement that read: “This is Kang Ji-hwan. I admit to all charges and I bow my head and sincerely apologise to the victims that I have hurt greatly with my irreparable wrongdoing. I want to also apologise to everyone that I have concerned because of this. I will accept punishment for my crimes and make atonement. I apologise profusely.”
The women, who were not identified, said in the interview that it was their first time at the 42-year-old actor’s home and there were several other people there, including a stylist and two managers. They corrected initial reports that said they had gone to a drinking party and then continued at his house. “It was a gathering that the staff were notified about in advance and an extension of our work,” they said.
After several people left, the women said Kang asked the two of them to stay to talk a little more. He then offered them a room to spend the night on the second floor. “[After we talked] we took Kang Ji-hwan, who was drunk, to his room on the third floor, and then we came back down and entered the room he’d assigned us, where we went to sleep.”
One of the women was woken up when she felt she was being assaulted. “Around 8 to 9 pm, I woke up with the feeling that I was being sexually assaulted. But I really was. I screamed and defended myself. But Kang Ji Hwan immediately committed the crime on the other victim, who was sleeping.”
They refuted reports that the actor had been very drunk at the time. “If he had been extremely drunk, he would not have been able to come down on his own from the third floor to the second floor. Also, both during the criminal act and after it, Kang Ji-hwan was clearly acting in a conscious state,” they explained.
They said they screamed and protested strongly until the actor left the room. They then locked the door and was later able to use a messaging service to get in touch with a friend to ask for help when they hooked on to wifi that wasn’t password protected. It was pointed out that Kang’s house is so remote that their phone did not have service.
The women revealed that they are now receiving psychiatric help after their ordeal. They condemned comments from the public calling them kkotbaem (women who take advantage of men through seduction). “We are women in our 20s in an unequal power relationship with the perpetrator Kang Ji-hwan. We are the victims of a sex crime. We ask that you refrain from malicious comments or unfounded speculation until the ruling is out.”
Actor Seo Ji-suk will be taking over Kang’s role in Joseon Survival, a drama about a former national archer who travels to the past and befriends a thief. The series will be cut to 16 episodes from the planned 20.