Johnny Kitagawa sex abuse victim dies of apparent suicide: reports

Johnny Kitagawa sex abuse victim dies of apparent suicide: reports
via NHK World-Japan, テレ東BIZ
Carl Samson
November 14, 2023
A man who claimed to be one of Johnny Kitagawa’s sex abuse victims was reportedly found dead in an apparent suicide.
About the deceased: The man, estimated to be in his 40s, had come forward as a victim of the late Japanese American talent manager and was subsequently harassed online, according to the Asahi Shimbun. He was a former talent of the previously named Johnny & Associates Inc. and a member of the Johnny’s Sexual Assault Victims Association, which was set up in June as similar allegations mounted.
The man’s remains, along with what is believed to be a suicide note, were located on a mountain in Minoo last month, as per Kyodo News. Like him, other members of the association are allegedly facing harassment, being accused of lying or chasing clout.
About Kitagawa: Kitagawa, who died at the age of 87 in 2019, was known for producing Japan’s most popular boy groups. Following an explosive BBC documentary that detailed sexual abuse allegations against him, more and more individuals have come forward to identify themselves as victims.
In August, an independent investigative panel commissioned by Kitagawa’s own talent company concluded that he had abused hundreds of young male talents as far back as the 1950s. His niece, Julie Fujishima, was then forced to resign from her post as president.
Current situation: In the wake of the scandal, Johnny & Associates Inc. rebranded and split into two companies, with one, Smile-Up Inc., solely focused on handling the identification and compensation of Kitagawa’s victims. Payments have begun this month.
Meanwhile, current talents are bearing the fallout of the controversy. They have lost brand deals and will noticeably be absent in public broadcaster NHK’s annual New Year’s Eve musical show, “Kohaku Uta Gassen,” as per the Japan Times.
If you or anyone you know is at risk of self-harm, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24-hour support at 1-800-273-8255.
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