Two high-profile celebrity drug scandals rocked the Japanese last week. The two separate case involved actor Manabu Oshio and Noriko Sakai.
Manabu Oshio, 31, was arrested on August 2 for illegal drug use. The actor-singer is also being investigated for his connection to the death of a woman in an apartment.
Oshio admitted that he took drugs with the woman before her death but coerced to do so. The investigators will determine the woman’s cause of death in a week or two.
His management agency Avex is swift to cut his contract before the news went public. His actress wife is also filing for official divorce; the couple has separated for about six months though.
Oshio made his acting debut in 1997 and formed his band LIV in 2002. Once highly promising, but his problematic attitude caused gradual downfall in recent years. This last chaos is likely to end his entertainment career once and for all.
[Update 2011] Oshi was convicted of drug use and failing to provide assistance to an acquaintance who died after taking drugs he had provided her. He was sentenced to 18-months (suspended) and 30-months in prison for the two cases.
The second case is probably more disheartening to the Japanese public although it’s less severe than the one above. It involves actress-singer Noriko Sakai, 38, who was adored for her clean image in the past two decades.
The news first broke out that Sakai was missing with her 10-year-old son following her husband’s arrest on August 3 for possession of illegal substances.
The public showed sympathy initially but was shocked when the authorities issued an arrest warrant on Sakai. Apparently when police asked her to give a statement and urine sample, she told that she had to pick up her 10-year-old son and would visit the station later. But she went missing instead.
The cops later found more illegal substances from her home in Tokyo, and she’s under suspicion of drug use too. She turned herself in on August 7.
Sakai started singing in 1987 and has many hits. She started acting in 1993 and starred in Under One Roof in 1997; it’s one of the highest rated Japanese drama series of all time. She’s also popular in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
[Update 2009] Sakai admitted to drug use. She was given a suspended 18-months sentence, means she would stay out of jail if she stays crime-free in the period.