The mother of former reality show star and professional wrestler Hana Kimura, who took her own life after her stint in the now-defunct “Terrace House,” is suing the broadcaster and the production company behind the Japanese reality show.
The lawsuit: On Thursday, Kyoko Kimura held a press conference to announce that she will be filing a case against Fuji Television Network Inc. and an unnamed Japanese production company next year to receive compensation for Hana’s suicide, reported The Japan Times.
- Kyoko said she wanted the companies to launch a genuine investigation to find out what pushed her 22-year-old daughter to kill herself.
- Prior to her death, Hana reportedly complained that the producers “don’t treat the cast like human beings.”
- Kyoko and her legal team stated that the lawsuit will seek to uncover whether certain scenes in the show were staged and edited with the intention of depicting the cast members in a negative light.
- An episode in March 2020, which showed Hana blowing up in anger, generated hateful comments from viewers.
Hana’s death: Hana, who joined the 2019-2020 season of “Terrace House Tokyo” as one of its six cast members, died by suicide in her Tokyo apartment in May 2020, NextShark previously reported.
- “Terrace House Tokyo,” which is the fifth installment of the “Terrace House” franchise, was first released on Netflix Japan on May 14, 2019.
- As the episodes aired on Fuji Television and Netflix, social media users reportedly targeted Hana with vicious comments and messages.
- In July 2020, Kyoko filed a complaint to the Broadcasting Ethics & Program Improvement Organization, declaring that the reality show “violated her daughter’s personal and human rights,” reported Kyodo News.
- The organization would later find that the show had been “ethically problematic.”
- After the show was canceled following Hana’s death, all “Terrace House” cast members were reportedly told to sign nondisclosure agreements that prevent them from talking about what happened during filming, according to The New York Times.
Digging for evidence: In an interview with Japanese magazine Shuukan Bunshun, Kyoko alleged that the scene showing Hana shouting at housemate Kai Kobayashi was staged.
- According to Kyoko, her daughter simply “wanted to present herself well as a professional wrestler” but was directed to dial up her villain image.
- Kyoko’s lawsuit also wants the companies to be held accountable for keeping the series on air even after Hana committed self-harm shortly after the controversial March 2020 episode premiered.
- Her 44-year-old mother is now hoping to find more clues, such as unreleased footage from the series, by filing a motion to secure evidence with the Tokyo District Court.
- Last Friday, the court responded with an order for the production company to submit unedited tapes, scripts and other relevant material as Kyoko requested. The production company reportedly plans to challenge the court’s order.