J-pop queen Koda Kumi (29) took the showbiz world by surprise when she announced on her official website early this morning that she is about to get married. She and guitarist Kenji03 (27, band photo 2nd from left) of the band Back-On are planning to tie the knot before the end of the year. Koda said, “He is a wonderful person who completely accepts me as I am and creates an atmosphere where I can relax and be myself.”
The couple are with the same management agency and worked together professionally before they started dating this spring. And to get the standard J-media checklist out of the way, they are not yet living together and Koda is not pregnant. She was of course famously linked with SMAP leader Nakai Masahiro (39) back in 2007, a relationship that was never publicly acknowledged.
Kenji03 collaborated with Koda’s younger sister Misono (27), performing under the stage name Me, on a single back in February. He was a member of Kumi’s backing band for the Avex a-Nation concert in the summer, while she collaborated with Back-On vocalist Teeda on a single in August.
Once again a celebrity steps over the line, feels the full force of the law and gets wiped off the TV map. In this case the perp is Dante Carver (34) of Softbank commercial fame. NHK say they will delete his appearances in already recorded episodes of the kids show “be Ponki Kids,” while other companies that Dante pitches for are reviewing the seriousness of the situation. In a statement the BS Fuji network described the case as “extremely regrettable.” The American actor’s offense? Doing an illegal U-turn and getting caught with an expired international driver’s license.
According to the Meguro police station in Tokyo yesterday, Dante was nabbed doing the naughty U-turn on Route 246 in Shibuya on July 2. They filed papers with prosecutors at the end of November because they found that his license, issued at the beginning of the year in the U.S., was invalid since he had not used it for the minimum three months in that country. Dante’s management agency issued a suitably groveling apology, while a Softbank spokesperson said the company had not had enough time to study the situation.
Popular young pro golfer Ishikawa Ryo (20) got caught for exactly the same offense in June and, after undergoing police questioning, held a press conference to publicly apologize.