Popular comedian Aoki Sayaka (32) revealed yesterday that she has broken up with her boyfriend, named only as “Koji.” The 29-year old is said to have returned to his family home of Ishigakijima island in Okinawa last September following the sudden death of his father. He and Aoki continued a long-distance relationship but at the end of last year decided to call it a day. The couple first started going out in 2004, when “Koji” was a part-time worker in a takoyaki restaurant and Aoki was on the verge of a breakthrough in her career. In the autumn of 2004, she visited his Ishigakijima home and secretly filmed her meeting with his parents for the variety show “London Hearts.”
• “Memoirs of a Geisha” (Sayuri), the Rob Marshall-directed movie based on the Arthur Golden bestseller, picked up a Golden Globe for Best Original Score, the fourth for composer John Williams. Nominated leading actress Zhang Ziyi failed to pick up an award. The movie also stars Watanabe Ken (46), who won a Golden Globe in 2003 for his role in “The Last Samurai.”
• Livedoor CEO Horie Takafumi won’t be such a presence on TV for a while, not on the variety show circuit anyway. The high-flying IT entrepreneur and his company are under investigation for various shady deals including cooking the books to hide losses and boost their stock price. The usually ebullient “Horiemon” gave a rather sheepish early morning press conference on Monday, where he nervously tried to reassure investors and the public that business would go on as usual while he and Livedoor cooperated with the investigation. A visibly exhausted Horie continued to answer reporters’ questions while members of his staff tried to drag him away. The scandal has knocked the stuffing out of not only Livedoor’s stock price but also, with the company being a flagship for the recovering IT industry, the Nikkei Stock Average as a whole. The index has dropped nearly 1,000 points in the last two days.