Actor Kwak Do Won is currently involved in a #MeToo investigation for theater director Lee Youn Taek. Kwak Do Won has been accused of harassing members of the now disbanded Yeonhee Street Theatre Troupe, where Lee Youn Taek directed performances.
Kwak Do Won is a former member of the Yeonhee Street Theatre Troupe. An anonymous allegation of Actor A from the troupe also harassing members led to suggestions that “Actor A” is Kwak Do Won.
To this allegation, Kwak Do Won’s lawyer Lim Sara denied all charges and released a personal statement on her Facebook stating that four of the 17 victims from Lee Youn Taek’s case have contacted Kwak Do Won for money.
“Kwak Do Won received a phone call from four troupe memebers who are involved in Lee Youn Taek’s case. They were devastated and wanted support. Kwak Do Won, also being from the same troupe, wanted to help. So I accompanied when he went to meet them. The four showed deep disappointment that I showed up with Kwak Do Won.
I couldn’t believe some of the things they said. They called Kwak Do Won the most successful person to have come from the troupe and said that he should be of help. They even told Kwak Do Won that they’ll ‘let him live’ if he helps.
I knew right away what they’re after. But I also knew how much Kwak Do Won loved and wanted to help these victims. So I suggested ways to set up fundraisers that could help all 17 victims… But they got upset. They asked Kwak Do Won to send money only to their private accounts because they are the most active ones out of the group of victims.”
Lim Sara also stated, “I will be sending recorded voice files and copies of certain text messages to the victims’ lawyers. I believe the lawyers will determine if the actions of these four should exclude them from the case, as it harms the testimonies of the other 13 victims.”
She added, “Though some of the victims from Lee Youn Taek’s case approached Kwak Do Won with intentions of asking for money, this does not change the fact that Lee Youn Taek committed a crime.”
Since Lim Sara’s statement, Lee Jae Ryung, a former troupe member and a friend of the four victims who met Kwak Do Won, released her own statement. She explained, “The four women wanted Kwak Do Won’s encouragement, as he himself said that he supports #MeToo.”
“We understand Kwak Do Won is a big name actor now. We know that he isn’t in the position to simply go around helping us, even if he was our friend.
But my friends weren’t looking for the actor Kwak Do Won. They wanted to see their friend Kwak Do Won that night. They were grateful and thrilled to have a friend who understands them. So when I heard a lawyer showed up and treated them like money-thirsty con artists, I was appalled. I called Lim Sara for an apology, which she didn’t give.”
Lee Jae Ryung also shared a message, written by one of the four victims who met Kwak Do Won, that retells what happened during the encounter. It reads:
“Kwak Do Won called me. We talked like old friends. I told him no one from the troupe is helping the victims. I asked him to please stand on our side and started crying. He said this is breaking his heart. He claimed he’ll be on our side and he’ll help. He started crying too. It meant so much to me. He felt like the only person who’d help us. At the end of the call, Kwak Do Won suggested that we meet the next day.
Three more friends and I went to see Kwak Do Won, because we were so grateful for his support. He said he has to wrap up a recording first, but he had booked a bar. He said we should go there first and start eating. He texted that it would be great to see us again. We were excited to see him too. We waited three hours when he finally arrived with his lawyer. We didn’t know what to think. Why did he need a lawyer to come see us? The lawyer introduced herself as his lawyer and management agency director. She asked that we talk to her instead.
All of a sudden, the lawyer started talking about how to get funds. She said Kwak Do Won won’t be able to personally fund us. We were so ashamed. She treated us like we came to an old friend to take his money. She looked at us like we were begging… We couldn’t stand her talking about money anymore, so we said we’re not here to get money. We told her we don’t need money, we have enough. That’s when she stopped and we could finally talk to Kwak Do Won about the past.
I got a bit drunk and started crying again. I asked him why the other troupe members won’t help us. Kwak Do Won, who was also drunk, started crying too and said I should give him my bank account number. He said he’ll give me money. I said I’ll never take his money. Then I fell asleep. When I woke up, Kwak Do Won and his lawyer were gone. The next day, Kwak Do Won texted me asking if I went home okay. He said he felt bad for having left me there. I replied that I was a little hurt that he had brought his lawyer with him.”