Man Ordered to Pay 1.29 M. Yen for Defaming Late TV Show Star


Tokyo, May 19 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo District Court ordered a man in Chino, Nagano Prefecture, central Japan, on Wednesday to pay 1.29 million yen in damages for defaming the late professional wrestler and reality television show star Hana Kimura.

This was the first court ruling granting damages over online defamation of Kimura. In the lawsuit, Kimura's mother, Kyoko, 44, had demanded about 2.94 million yen in damages from the man.

According to the mother's complaint, the man said on Twitter after Kimura's suicide that her death "made everyone happy" and that she would "hopefully go to hell." The plaintiff claimed that the comments were unacceptable. The man was identified through information disclosure requests to the Twitter operator and others.

In May last year, Kimura, then 22, was found in cardiopulmonary arrest at her home and was later confirmed dead. She had been under fire on social media for venting her anger on a male cast member in popular reality show Terrace House, which was aired by Fuji Television Network Inc.

As the defendant did not submit an answer to the complaint, the court assumed that he admitted the claim of defamation. The court calculated compensation for the mother's psychological distress at 500,000 yen. The amount is relatively high for such compensation, according to her lawyer.

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Jiji Press