Hardly a day has gone by over the last week that the tabloid media hasn't put the boot into Mona Yamamoto, 32, after she was forced to quit her job as a news program anchor due to a scandal surrounding her visit to a love hotel with a married Yomiuri Giants baseball player. Since Yamamoto had to leave another news program in October, 2006 in similar circumstances, the media have been calling her all sorts of names.
But those who were at the party on the night of the latest scandal say that baseball player Tomohiro Nioka, 32, was hitting on Yamamoto much more eagerly than she was hitting on him. Yet he barely received a slap on the wrist.
“As Nioka got drunk, he started to approach a group of girls who were drinking together. But these girls ignored him, so he started to hit on Yamamoto,” said one of Nioka's friends who was at the party. “He talked to her, and was whispering in her ear. The distance between them got closer.”
After the party, Nioka left with Yamamoto and looked as if he was pushing her into a taxi around 4:30 a.m. “While he was drunk, he tried to kiss me,” Yamamaoto said in an official statement to media. “Mr Nioka asked me to go to another bar on the street, but I refused that offer. Because I didn't want to make it a big deal in public, I reluctantly went to a love hotel nearby to talk with him until he could sober up. We just had a drink there but didn’t do anything more.”
Nioka married a freelance announcer in 2005, and has a son who was born in June, 2007. He is currently president of the Players' Union. Nioka's wife told Shukan Post: “I heard everything from my husband and I am sorry that he has caused so much trouble for many people.”
One Yomiuri Giants fans says, “He hasn't been in good form these days. If Mona is forced to suspend all activities, Nioka should do the same.”
However, a spokesperson for the Yomiuri Giants says, “His behavior was very senseless. We apologize to our fans. He is sorry for his own actions now. Since he is one of our key players, we decided to let him off with just a verbal warning this time.” (Translated by Taro Fujimoto)© Japan Today