Police say that former talento Iijima Ai had been dead for about a week when her body was discovered on Christmas Eve (see link to earlier story below). Even after an administrative autopsy, they have been unable to establish the cause of death. They found Halcyon prescription sleeping pills in her apartment, so speculation as to whether or not it was a suicide will likely continue unless results of a more extensive autopsy are revealed. The management agency that represented Iijima until she retired from showbiz last year said they spoke to her by telephone about 10 days before her death was discovered. That would make it just a few days before she died, but they said she seemed in good spirits and wanted to meet to discuss setting up a new business. Iijima crossed over from a successful career as a porn actress to find even bigger success as a writer and variety show regular. She quit last year citing health problems but maintained a popular blog and was active in the campaign against AIDS. She was 36.
• J-pop diva Hamasaki Ayumi (30) had to undergo emergency surgery after she injured her hand in a fall on Christmas Eve. Her agency didn’t reveal the extent of the injury but said she had surgery on Christmas Day. On doctor’s orders, she has had to cancel a scheduled appearance on today’s edition of the TV Asahi show “Music Station.”
• Talento Hamada Mari (39) has been married since the spring, it was revealed yesterday. She got hitched to a 51-year-old company employee and they now live in Tokyo with Hamada’s daughter from her previous marriage. She was married to Fuji Maki (43) of the rock band Soft Ballet from 1996 to 2005.