NIIGATA (TR) – After revealing that she was assaulted by two men at her residence in Niigata City last month, NGT48 member Maho Yamaguchi apologized on Thursday for causing a disturbance, reports NHK (Jan. 11).
“I am sorry for causing concern,” Yamaguchi said during a performance in Niigata City, where the group is based. “I would like to make efforts for NGT48 move to in a new direction as a result of this.”
On December 8, the two men, both 25, allegedly grabbed Yamaguchi, 23, by the face and shoved her down as tried to close the front door of her residence after she returned home alone from a theater show.
According to police, the men, one of whom is a college student, were accused of assault after the incident. However, they were released on December 29.
During questioning, the pair denied the charges of assault, saying they merely wanted to speak with Yamaguchi. “I hold a fondness for her,” one of them was quoted.
In a series of tweets on Wednesday, Yamaguchi described the incident in great detail. She also said that the perpetrators told her that it was at least on member of NGT48 who informed them of her schedule and where she lives.
The day before, Yamaguchi appeared on “Showroom,” a live program that allows fans to interact with members of the group. “I thought I was going to be killed,” Yamaguchi said on the program regarding the incident. After she began speaking, the program was abruptly terminated.
As the incident unfolded, agency AKS declined to comment on the matter. However, on Thursday it issued a statement. After offering an apology over the matter, the agency slightly disputed the claims of Yamaguchi, saying that a third man accosted another member of the group and received some information about Yamaguchi from her.
“We will ensure that measures will be taken prohibit the three men from attending performances, [meet and greet] handshake events and any other such events in the future,” the statement said.
AKS acknowledged that Yamaguchi had endured psychological trauma as a result of the incident. It also admitted that the fact that she revealed details of the matter on social media was “due to our lack of correspondence with her and her fans.”
AKS also said that it would intensify security measures for members to prevent a recurrence. “Additionally, [AKS] staff will go to great efforts to create relationships of mutual trust and provide emotional care to [NGT48] members, starting with Maho Yamaguchi.”