One of South Korea's most famous actresses was convicted of adultery Wednesday in a high-profile case that drew renewed attention to a decades-old law prohibiting extramarital affairs.
Ok So-ri, who was handed a suspended jail term, had lost a battle in October to have the ban declared unconstitutional.
"I would like to say I'm sorry for causing so much trouble to society," a somber Ok told reporters after the verdict.
A district court in Goyang, near Seoul, handed Ok a suspended eight-month jail sentence, South Korean media reported, meaning she will not have to serve time. Ok's lover received a six-month suspended term.
There was no immediate word on any plans for appeal.
The sensational sex-and-celebrities case has been tabloid fodder for months, with Ok's challenge to the adultery law adding extra spice.
Last year, Ok acknowledged during a news conference that she had had an affair with an opera singer who was a friend of her husband for a few months in 2006. She stressed the affair was a result of her loveless marriage to actor Park Chul.
The court appeared to show some sympathy for Ok's predicament.
"Though the fact of adultery should be criticized, (the court) issued this ruling taking into account that husband Park Chul's responsibility was not small," the court said, according to cable news channel YTN.
She also "suffered mental pains" due to the exposure of her privacy, the court said.
Ok earlier this year filed a petition to have the adultery ban ruled an unconstitutional invasion of privacy. But in October, the Constitutional Court upheld the ban, part of South Korea's 55-year-old criminal code.
Despite decades of Western influence, South Korea remains deeply conservative and is influenced by a Confucian heritage. Those convicted under the anti-adultery law face prison sentences of up to two years, though few serve time.
Supporters of the adultery ban say it promotes monogamy and keeps families intact. Opponents argue the law violates privacy. Complaints have been filed with the Constitutional Court three times in 1990, 1993 and 2001 to abolish the law, but the court has upheld it every time.
While women's rights group were the ban's biggest supporters in the past when the law was meant to keep philandering husbands in line, in recent years some husbands have begun pressing adultery charges on their unfaithful wives.
The number of adultery cases filed in South Korea has dropped in recent years, declining to 8,070 in 2006 from 12,760 in 2000, according to the Supreme Prosecutors' Office. About 80 percent of those cases were dropped before formal charges were filed, largely because complaints were withdrawn.
Many Muslim nations have anti-adultery laws, some with harsh penalties. Taiwan, Austria, Switzerland and some U.S. states also have laws prohibiting extramarital affairs, according to the Korea Legal Aid Center for Family Relations, a government-funded legal counseling office.