Popular TV host Shimada Shinsuke (54) has been ordered to pay a major sum in compensation for an assault that almost ended his career several years ago. A Tokyo District Court judge yesterday decided that Shimada and the Yoshimoto Kogyo talent agency were liable for ¥10 million in damages for the injuries and humiliation suffered by a female Yoshimoto employee in 2004. The plaintiff had sought ten times that amount.
The incident happened backstage at an Osaka TV studio in June 2004. Shimada was angered by the words and attitude of the woman, 40 at the time and the manager of commentator Katsuya Masahiko. He is said to have taken her to another room to lecture her on manners and became infuriated when she talked back. He allegedly pulled her hair, hit her face against a wall and spat on her. When the case blew up in the media, he gave a tearfully apologetic press conference and stepped down from several regular TV slots. A few months later, an Osaka court ordered Shimada to pay a ¥300,000 fine. The woman was put on extended leave by Yoshimoto for more than 18 months, during which time she underwent treatment for stress-related problems. After the leave finished in June 2006, she claimed, she was fired.
But for a star of Shimada’s stature, the media has a short memory and he eventually returned to being one of the busiest and best-paid celebrities on TV. He is sometimes mentioned as a potentially strong political candidate. The latest court decision will make only the tiniest dent in his substantial wealth, but the case will forever hang over any plans to run for public office.
Shinsuke Fined, May Quit (Dec 11, 2004)
Shinsuke’s Troubles Not Over (Aug 4, 2006)
US socialite Paris Hilton was stopped by immigration officials at Tokyo’s Narita airport as she flew in from Las Vegas yesterday, a day after pleading guilty to cocaine charges, media reports said. The 29-year-old hotel heiress arrived at Narita by a chartered flight and the officials were interviewing her and considering refusing her entry because of a suspended sentence she received for the charges, Jiji news agency said. She spent the night at an airport hotel (the Hilton?) before facing further questioning today.
A court in Las Vegas on Monday gave her two six-month suspended jail terms for possessing cocaine and lying about it, but said she would be jailed for a year if she was arrested again. The sentence also included a $2,000 fine, completion of a substance abuse program and 200 hours of community service.
Hilton arrived in Tokyo at about 5:30pm, the Asahi Shimbun reported on its online edition. The Narita branch of the Tokyo immigration control office told Jiji that a person on a suspended jail term was not allowed to enter Japan except for “special reasons.”
Hilton had been scheduled to attend an event with her sister Nicky, 26, in Tokyo on Wednesday to promote her original brand for handbags and accessories. But the event has been canceled, Jiji said. (AFP)
Popular young actor Mizushima Hiro (26) is giving it all up to be a writer, according to the Sankei Sports newspaper. Mizushima’s former management at Kenon Group acknowledged the report, saying that he had quit the agency. They said his interest in novels and other forms of writing was something he had made known for some time. Mizushima started working as a model while a student at the prestigious Keio University in Tokyo. His breakthrough as an actor came when he landed the lead role in the action hero TV series “Kamen Rider Kabuto.” He most recently worked on the manga adaptation movie “Beck,” which is scheduled for release this month.
Kenon also represents Mizushima’s wife, singer Ayaka (22). Though she is on an extended sabbatical as she battles with Graves’ disease, her husband’s decision doesn’t affect her existing contract. The couple tied the knot in February of 2009.
Mizushima Hiro, Ayaka Married (Apr 4, 2009)