It seems that romance is back on for British racing driver Jenson Button (30) and fashion model Michibata Jessica (25). The couple’s relationship was first reported at the beginning of last year and there were rumors of marriage last summer. Michibata claimed that a proposal was in the works if Button won the Formula One championship, but that title came and went without any news of wedding bells. Then in May things were said to be on the rocks due to the pressures of separate careers and a long-distance relationship.
But recently there was media speculation of a reunion when they were spotted dining out in London after the British Grand Prix earlier this month. Confirmation came over the weekend after qualifications for the German Grand Prix as Button told reporters he would be joined by Michibata at next week’s event in Hungary. She also posted to Twitter that she and friends had been cheering on her boyfriend at a sports bar in Tokyo.
Button has a new team this year but is currently in second place and in contention to defend his championship title. Michibata, whose father is half-Argentine, half-Italian, and whose mother is Japanese, has been modeling since she was a child, though the western media has gone a bit overboard in describing her as a “supermodel.” She speaks fluent English and Japanese, as well as Spanish and some Italian.
Saotome Ai Dies at 51
Former actress Saotome Ai has died of multiple organ failure in Seattle, it was reported today. She was 51. Saotome made her acting debut in the 1974 movie “Ai to Makoto” and she went on to make over 60 movies and TV dramas. In the mid-1980s she broke with her popular image to appear in a soft porn movie and published a photo book that included several nude shots. From that period on, she tended to play more villain parts. Her last movie role was in “Shin Jinjinaki Tatakai” in 2000, after which she quit showbiz and went to live with her family in the U.S.
Nishioka, Tokuzawa to Tie the Knot
Chiba Lotte Marines leadoff batter Nishioka Tsuyoshi (25) and popular fashion model Tokuzawa Naoko (25) both updated their blogs at the weekend to formally announce their upcoming wedding. The couple plan to tie the knot on July 27, which sees the start of the second half of the baseball season and is also Nishioka’s birthday.