TOKYO (TR) – Popular actor Ken Watanabe last week offered an apology regarding a report from a tabloid magazine earlier this year that he was engaged in an extra-marital affair in the U.S., reports Sports Nippon (July 17).
“Concerning the article, it is mainly factual,” the 57-year-old actor told an assembled press corps on Saturday. “I would like to apologize for any inconveniences my thoughtless, weak-minded behavior may have caused.”
The report, appearing in the April 6 issue of weekly tabloid Shukan Bunshun, includes photographs showing Watanabe holding hands with a Japanese woman during a date at New York’s Central Park on February 18.
The reporter for the magazine also followed them to dinner at a Chinese restaurant two days later. As well, other photographs published in the article show the couple in intimate situations.
Former bar hostess
According to a previous report, the woman in question this time is a former bar hostess. The pair met while she was employed at a club in the Kita Shinchi entertainment area of Osaka in August of 2013. The relationship began the following year. She is currently a designer of jewelry.
“It was not continuing all the time as I was working in the U.S.,” Watanabe said of the affair. “Somehow it continued without a decision being made on my part.” After the release of the article, Watanabe and his mistress terminated their relationship, he said.
“I am sorry”
Last year, Watanabe, who two decades ago survived a battle with leukemia, revealed that he had stomach cancer, a development that postponed his appearances in “The King and I” in New York.
Around that same time, Kaho Minami, his wife, underwent surgery for stage 1 breast cancer. “I made you feel painful, sad,” he said of his wife. Regarding the adulterous relationship he maintained as she battled her illness, he said, “I am sorry.”