TOKYO (TR) – Former television entertainer Shinsuke Shimada, 55, and his agency yesterday filed a lawsuit in the Tokyo District Court against publisher Kodansha for libel, reports Sports Nippon (Oct. 24).
Agency Yoshimoto Kogyo and Shimada are seeking 165 million yen in damages for an article about the former entertainer’s associations with organized crime that appeared in the October 15 issue of weekly tabloid Shukan Gendai under the headline that read: “Shimada, you are a gangster.”
In the suit, Yoshimoto Kogyo says, “We do not support this kind of reporting. This is an unimaginable fabrication and a very serious case of libel.”
“This is not based on facts,” a representative of Yoshimoto Kogyo is quoted. “It is a total fabrication and it is essential to restore our reputation with the public.”
In August, Shimada abruptly announced his retirement from the entertainment business, citing an exchange of e-mails with an upper member of the Yamaguchi-gumi, Japan’s largest crime syndicate, as the reason.
A representative from the editorial department at Shukan Gendai, which is owned by Kodansha, said, “We have confidence in the content of that article. We also will continue to write articles about Shimada’s connections with organized crime.”