A South Korean court on Friday ruled against the divorce appeal of movie director Hong Sang-soo who cheated on his wife,the court insisted only the affected party in a marriage could initiate a legal separation.
He filed for the divorce shortlyafter his relationship with actress Kim Min-hee became public.
But Hong’s wife, whom he wed in 1985, refused to accept his divorce appeal which has lasted for over 2 years.
Seoul Family Court on Friday dismissed Hong’s petition and awarded costs against him.
South Korea has always been a conservative society, where until 2015, anyone indulging in extramarital sex risked a two-year prison sentence.
37-year-old Kim who was named the best actress at Germany’s prestigious Berlinale in 2017 has struggled to inspire warmth among the South Korean public.
Her portrayal of an out-of-work actress reeling from an affair with a married director in Hong’s “On the Beach at Night Alone” appears to have been too close to real life for moviegoers.
The law against adultery was originally intended to safeguard the rights of women at a time when marriage offered them some of their only legal protections.
Most had no independent income, and divorce carried an enormous social stigma.
In 2015, when the country’s highest court reaffirmed that only the injured party could initiate a divorce, it said: “gender equality had some way to go”.