A man in Osaka may be charged for allegedly cyberbullying Hana Kimura, the pro-wrestler and one of the cast members of the reality TV show Terrace House, who died in May in an apparent suicide.
Sankei Shimbun reports that Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Thursday (Dec 17) have referred to prosecutors a man in his 20s who had repeatedly posted abusive remarks to Kimura on Twitter. He allegedly made such comments as “Is there any point of living?” and “Hey, when are you going to die?”
Kimura, 22, was found dead at her apartment in Tokyo in May in a suspected suicide after becoming the target of cyberbullies on social media for her appearance on Terrace House: Tokyo 2019-2020.
The trolling started after Episode 38’s ‘The Case of the Costume Incident’ which featured a scene where she lost her cool at a male cast member who accidentally shrunk her expensive wrestling outfit after mixing it with his clothes in the washing machine.
Shortly after Kimura’s passing, Terrace House — which was produced by Fuji TV and streamed on Netflix globally — was cancelled.
Police started an investigation at the request of Kimura’s family and found out that she had received about 300 defamatory Twitter comments from around 200 accounts.
Though most of the comments were later deleted, police managed to restore the data from some of them.
Local media in Japan also reported that in June the suspect apologised by sending an e-mail to Kimura’s family. “I slandered [her],” he wrote. “I am very sorry.”
In a statement released through Tokyo police on Thursday, Kyoko Kimura, Kimura’s mother, said, “It is a painful choice to [make a claim against] a person who has apologised. However, if I let it pass, Hana’s death will be wasted and liability will end. I want to raise [this issue] publicly to hopefully see a world that is free from slander.”
If you or someone you know is having difficulties coping, here are some numbers to call:
Samaritans of Singapore: 1800-221-4444
Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-283-7019