Japanese “talent” Becky, 31, will be taking an enforced “leave” from the show business world amid escalating public and media bashing over her rumored affair with Enon Kawatani, 27, the vocalist of the popular band Gesu no Kiwami Otome, news of which broke in early January.
Sun Music Production Corp, Becky’s management agency, reportedly approached TV networks on Jan 28, requesting the talent-singer be removed from her regular programs due to ill health and depression resulting from the daily reports on her affair, Sankei Shimbun and other media reported Tuesday.
Becky will not be featured in future productions of all her 10 regular TV programs, including the popular Nippon TV “Tensai! Shimura Dobutsuen,” “Sekai no Hate Made Itte Q!” and TBS’ “Nakai Masahiro no Kinyobi no Sumatachi e.” She is also an MC for a regular Tokyo FM radio program, but she is likely to lose that job following this week's broadcast, which had already been scheduled, Sankei Shimbun reported.
Becky was also removed from all commercials she had been featured in, both on TV and online, with the majority of companies taking preemptive measures within days after the scandal broke. By the end of January, all 10 sponsors Becky had contracts with, including convenience store chain Lawson, had announced that they will not be renewing their contracts with her.
News of Becky’s rumored affair broke in the Jan 7 issue of Shukan Bunshun magazine, which revealed it had seen LINE messages in which Kawatani reportedly said he wanted to marry Becky if he could divorce his wife. Becky and Kawatani are said to have spent Christmas eve together and New Year with Kawatani’s family in Nagasaki after which photos of the couple started appearing in tabloids.
Becky held a press conference on Jan 6, apologizing for the stir and denying rumors of her being in a love affair with Kawatani, stating that her relationship with him was simply of a friendship nature and that she had not known at first that he was married.
After the scandal broke, Kawatani went public with his marriage. Prior to that, he had told reporters his wife was a friend. He also said that he and Becky were just friends.
Shukan Bunshun published a follow-up story on Jan 21, leaking another apparent LINE conversation between Becky and Kawatani, in which the two are reportedly cheerfully discussing the initial scoop, saying that “it may actually set (them) free (to go public with the affair),” and expressing their gratitude to the magazine for releasing the story. Becky is also said to have written Kawatani that she “will use the ‘friendship-story,’” indicating that she may have intentionally lied regarding their relationship during the press conference.
The second story went viral in Japan, causing even greater damage to Becky’s career, with people in and out of show business expressing frustration not only with Becky, but with TV channels that had continued to feature her in their programs, many of which had used recordings completed before the scandal broke out. According to Sponichi Nippon, a TV channel that had included Becky in one of its programs last week, received over 1,000 complaint calls within just 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, the authenticity of the LINE conversations has not been verified to date, though neither Becky nor Kawatani have refuted them. The person who leaked the conversation has also been unidentified, with Shukan Bunshun intensely protecting its sources despite enormous public interest.© Japan Today