SPEED member Uehara Takako (28) has filed a defamation lawsuit against publisher Bungei Shunju, it has been learned. Uehara is seeking damages of approximately 30 million yen and a formal published apology against the company, which ran an article alleging that she is associated with a yakuza member.
The September 15 issue of the magazine Shukan Bunshun contained an article about celebrities who could be targeted by the recent movements to cut off ties with the yakuza. Uehara’s name and photograph were included in the article, which claimed that she is a frequent customer of a restaurant in Nishi-Azabu that is operated by a yakuza member.
In the complaint filed with the Tokyo District Court, Uehara acknowledged that she visited the restaurant once during a recording for a television show, but she affirmed that she is not acquainted or associated with any yakuza members. As a result, she is seeking compensation for the damage to her reputation caused by the magazine article and the magazine’s advertisements in train cars.
The case had its first hearing on Monday. Bungei Shunju is seeking a rejection of Uehara’s claims.