In a possibly unprecedented move, the management of a Japanese idol group is suing two former members, their parental guardians, and the fans they had relationships with for damages.
MovingFactory, the management and label behind the seven-girl idol group Aoyama Saint Hachamecha High School (formed in 2012) has named both the two members, the fans and the parents in the lawsuit, which was made public yesterday.
In April this year, it was suddenly announced that one of the members was leaving due to “health issues”. Then in July, another member was said to be taking a “break” from event appearances. New members were announced, reports Japan Trends.
However, it was not until August that the reasons for the departure of Miho Yuuki (19) and Sena Miura (22) were made clear when a producer explained at an event that the two had been dating fans, which breached their contracts with MovingFactory.
They were fired and the management even went so far as to reveal the names of the fans, which led to people tracking down their social media accounts and photos.
Now, a lawsuit has been filed for over ¥8.2 million (in excess of $75,000) for damages as a result of the girls’ actions. The two members are named in the suit, as are the men who had relationships with the girls.
“The parental guardians signed contracts that said the members would not have relationships with fans and would not neglect their work,” the management was quoted. “They have betrayed the members of the group and all their fans. We cannot forgive this.”
It was not until yesterday that the lawsuit was confirmed, though rumors about it had been circulating since mid-August when MovingFactory explained why the two members left.
One of the men in question wrote a blog post claiming that as an ordinary citizen he was free to have a relationship with someone and that he had received notice of a lawsuit.
The other man went so far as to make a public apology via a YouTube video (since taken down).
The gallery shows another J-pop group AKB48, who also have a no-dating rule. One member had to shave her head as an apology after she was caught dating.