Hair today, gone tomorrow: Japanese pop star Minami Minegishi shaves head after getting caught having sex
Singer issues tearful online mea culpa for letting down fans and is demoted to trainee level
A week ago Minami Minegishi was a silken-haired jewel in one of Japan’s pop music crowns, the all-girl group AKB48.
Now, Minegishi has shaved her hair after issuing a tearful online mea culpa for disobeying one of the cardinal rules in Japan’s squeaky clean pop idol world. Her crime? She slept with her boyfriend.
A You Tube video of the singer pleading for forgiveness after being snapped by a scandal rag emerging from her boyfriend’s apartment has scored over four million hits in 24 hours.
“I’m so sorry for worrying my fans and other members of the group,” says the ashen-faced 20 year-old singer, who explained that she had shaved her head in an act of contrition.
“I don’t believe just doing this means I can be forgiven for what I did, but the first thing I thought was that I don’t want to quit AKB48.”
One of Asia’s top pop groups, AKB48 features a revolving cast of members, some as young as 13. Deliberately steeped in risqué sexual appeal, their image is a frothy mix of lingerie-wearing Lolita and innocent schoolgirl. The lyrics to one song go: “I want to take off my school uniform, I want to misbehave, you can do whatever you like, I want to experience adult pleasure”.
But the group members must adhere to a strict code of behaviour: dating and sexual relations are banned, as is anything that might break the spell that they are somehow unattainable to their male fans. Last year another member of the band was demoted after a weekly magazine revealed that she had a sexual history.
News of the article on Minegishi quickly went viral and forced the group’s management into crisis mode. A message on the official AKB48 website announced that the singer had been demoted to “trainee level” for the overnight tryst with a dancer in a boy band. That could be the kiss of death for her career: In her video, the singer says she is leaving it up to their manager, Yasushi Akimoto, to decide on her fate.
Some online fans rallied to her cause, pleading with her to tough out the scandal and stay in the group, but thousands of critical comments also flooded cyberspace last night.
“She disgusts me,” said one. “She doesn’t deserve the people who support her.”
As one of the older members of the group, Ms Minegishi said she keenly felt the weight of responsibility for what she did. “I was supposed to be in the position where I always had to act as a role model for the junior members. But what I did was extremely thoughtless and lacked self-awareness.”
Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way
Review: Despite an uphill climb to see Jake Bugg in action, his performance is notably flat
- 1 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery claims: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 2 Salisbury ranked seventh-best city in the world to visit in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015
- 3 Disney announces new female-led film Moana
- 4 Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 5 Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Australian jihadist Abdullah Elmir vows Isis will fight 'until black flag is on the top of Buckingham Palace'
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery claims: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Chicago voter tells Obama 'don't touch my girlfriend' – Obama stays super smooth
Oscar Pistorius: The brutal prison life that awaits disgraced athlete
Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Jose Manuel Barroso warns David Cameron against making 'historic mistake' over immigration reforms
£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...
£26000 per annum + 25 days holiday & further benefits: Ashdown Group: Telecomm...
£100 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: We are seeking a confident...
£30000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Data Analyst - Lon...