TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have referred a man to prosecutors over the alleged online harassment of reality television star Hana Kimura prior to her suicide, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Dec. 17).
In the middle of May, the man, aged in his 20s and living in Osaka Prefecture, is alleged to have repeatedly posted hateful remarks to Kimura, 22, on Twitter.
“Is it worth it to keep living?” he asked one message. In another, he queried, “Hey, when are you going to die?”
On Thursday, police sent the man to prosecutors. “Her attitude on the show was unforgivable,” the man said in admitting to the allegations.
Argument over her wrestling costume
Kimura was a professional wrestler who also starred on the reality series “Terrace House Tokyo 2019-2020.” Since cancelled, the show featured her, two other women and three men living in an apartment in Tokyo.
In an episode broadcast on U.S. streaming service Netflix on March 31, Kimura and another cast member get into an argument over her wrestling costume.
Fuji Television broadcast that same episode in Japan on May 19. Kimura was found dead in her residence in Tokyo four days later.
“A world that is free from slander”
After launching an investigation at the request of Kimura’s family, police determined that she had received about 300 defamatory comments on Twitter from around 200 accounts.
Though most of the tweets were later deleted, police managed to restore the data for some of them.
In June, the man sent to prosecutors apologized by sending an email to Kimura’s family. “I slandered [her],” he wrote. “I am very sorry.”
Kimura’s mother is Kyoko Kimura, who is also a wrestler. In a statement released through Tokyo police on Thursday, she said, “It is a painful choice to [make a claim against] a person who has apologized. However, if I let it pass, Hana’s death will be wasted and liability will end. I want to raise [this issue] publicly to hopefully see a world that is free from slander.”