On November 15, officers from the Shinjuku Police Station in Tokyo arrested Masako Suzuki, a 31-year-old model with a background in the securities industry, and Yasutaka Okamura, the 66-year-old president of a financial firm, for demanding payment from the president of a chain of restaurants over an alleged sexual assault.
According to Shukan Taishu (Dec. 15), the incident reveals a dark side of the entertainment industry.
Suzuki and the restaurant president had met at a boat party over the summer.
“The model later informed the president that he would be accused of raping her in his car after they had enjoyed a meal together,” says a local news reporter. “Okamura then suggested to the president that it would be in his best interest to reconcile the matter.”
Okamura also sent an article posted on a news site by fax to the restaurant company that detailed the alleged rape incident. News reports said that the pair asked for a loan of 100 million yen as an out-of-court settlement. The victim alerted police in October.
After graduating from Waseda University, Suzuki joined a securities company. As side work, she engaged in modeling, and released a DVD containing images of her attired only in her underwear. In 2007, Suzuki was awarded the Grand Prix in the Miss Palau International Goodwill Ambassador contest.
Four years later, Suzuki appeared in Nikkan Gendai’s popular “Excuse Me” column, which introduces up-and-coming female entertainers. “Someone buy me a Chanel bag,” she giggled. Known in publications as the “beautiful investment idol,” the suspect is currently enrolled in a graduate course in finance at Waseda, according to her blog.
Due to her status, her arrest gained substantial attention in the media. “In the press, the incident became known as the ‘man-woman extortion plot,'” says a reporter for an evening sports paper. “Many big papers took it up.”
However, there was one problem, says Shukan Taishu.
“In typical ruses like this, the perpetrators prepare a lot of evidence to support their claim,” says a person with knowledge of the matter. “But in this case, it is only Suzuki’s testimony (that is being used).”
In that testimony, according to the aforementioned source, Suzuki says that the president forced himself upon her, while she was still clothed, inside his luxury Maybach sedan. Of course, admits the source, what actually transpired is not known.
An entertainment reporter provides another perspective.
“In this investigation, the aim is to get an understanding of these man-woman partnering scams that have been spreading in the entertainment industry,” says the reporter. “In recent years, it has not been uncommon for entertainment agencies to target celebrities with these kinds of ruses.”
For the police, the suspicion is that these schemes are funding “underground” activities. “The intent is to cut off the flow,” says the reporter. (K.N.)
Source: “Toshi-ka aidoru ‘tsutsumotase’ sodo no zen shinso,” Shukan Taishu (Dec. 15, page 64)