updated 12/17/2008 7:33:56 AM ET 2008-12-17T12:33:56

A South Korean court found a popular actress guilty of adultery Wednesday, months after she tried but failed to have a law that makes extramarital affairs a crime ruled unconstitutional.

A district court sentenced Ok So-ri to eight months in prison, suspended for two years, Yonhap news agency reported. The court near Seoul gave Ok's lover a six-month suspended sentence.

A court spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

The 40-year-old actress 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.

Deeply conservative
South Korea remains deeply conservative and is influenced by a Confucian heritage despite decades of Western influence. Supporters of the adultery ban say it promotes monogamy and keeps families intact. Opponents say the courts have no right to interfere in people's private lives.

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 About 80 percent of those cases were dropped before formal charges were filed, largely because complaints were withdrawn.

Last year, Ok acknowledged during a news conference that she had had an affair with an opera singer 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.

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