Money Problems No Laughing Matter

Othello, Nakajima Tomoko

Comedienne Nakajima Tomoko (40, photo left), currently on an extended break due to health problems, is having serious financial problems as well, according to today’s issue of weekly magazine “Flash.” She is said to owe some ¥6.6 million in back rent on her luxury Tokyo apartment and her nearby management office in a posh area of Tokyo’s Shibuya district. A curious angle on the story is that her landlord is none other than popular actor Motoki Masahiro (46) and his wife, actress Uchida Yayako (35). Legal proceedings have already started to recoup the six months rent owed on the ¥450,000-a-month office. Rent on the ¥650,000 apartment is outstanding for the same period. One source says that Nakajima is currently sharing the apartment with a fortune teller who guides her every decision. Her family is said to be so worried about her that they consulted with Tokyo police last autumn.

Nakajima is still formally one half of the duo Othello, so named because she was permanently tanned while partner Matsushima Nahomi (40, photo center) was very pale. The pair have been regulars on the variety show circuit from the mid-1990s. Nakajima is a former college beauty queen and her dramatic weight gain in the last couple of years has been the subject of much media speculation. She had four weekly TV slots until poor health forced her to take time off last April. Officially she still has those slots, though others have been filling in for her for almost a year so she is not currently receiving any salary. Meanwhile, Matsushima has maintained a strong solo career and became a mother in December.