NIIGATA (TR) – Maho Yamaguchi, a member of all-girl idol group NGT48, has criticized the results of a third-party probe into an assault against her last year, calling the findings “lies.”
On March 22, AKS, the management agency for the group, said at a press conference that there is no evidence that others members of the group were involved in the incident.
As the findings were being revealed, the 23-year-old idol began posting on Twitter. “Why are they continuously telling lies?” she wrote. “I’m really sad.”
The incident emerged via a series of tweets by Yamaguchi on January 9. In the tweets, the idol said that two men grabbed her by the face and shoved her down as tried to close the front door of her residence in Niigata City after she returned home alone from a show on December 8.
According to previous reports, Niigata Prefectural Police accused the men of assault after the incident. During questioning, the pair denied the charges, saying they merely wanted to speak with Yamaguchi. They were released on December 29.
In one tweet from January, Yamaguchi said that that the perpetrators told her that it was at least one member of NGT48 who informed them of her schedule and where she lives.
In her tweets from March 22, Yamaguchi claimed that AKS had promised to dismiss any members who were proven to have ties with fans.
However, AKS said that the inquiry found that some members indeed had relationships with fans but that the cause of the incident was “excessive” behavior by the two fans.
Yamaguchi also commented on Twitter about the the apology she gave on January 10 over “concern” caused by her tweeting about the incident. She wrote, “If I didn’t issue the apology, I was told other members would read a prepared statement on my behalf.”
AKS came under fire over its indifferent handling of the incident, refraining from commenting until Yamaguchi took to Twitter. The agency then announced that Maiko Hayakawa would replace Etsuro Imamura as the manager of the NGT48’s theater in Niigata City.
Earlier this month, AKS cancelled its annual popularity contest that features flagship idol group AKB48. In the lead up to the General Election, fans “vote” for AK48 members and those of sister groups, including NGT48.