News On Japan

Singer aiko Admits to Being Brainwashed

TOKYO, Jun 23 (News On Japan) - In a shocking revelation at the Tokyo District Court, singer aiko (48) confessed to being 'brainwashed' by her former manager, detailing the control he exerted over her.

The testimony came during the trial of Atsushi Chiba (58), a former executive of aiko's management agency, who is accused of causing approximately 100 million yen in damages by purchasing tour goods at inflated prices from a friend's company between 2016 and 2019. Prosecutors allege that Chiba pocketed the difference, using it for luxury goods.

Aiko’s testimony revealed the extent of Chiba's manipulation: 'I was brainwashed in every aspect.'

Fans, who have supported aiko for over 20 years, expressed their dismay. One fan stated, 'We bought goods thinking it would support the next live concert. To find out our money went into Chiba’s pocket is shocking.'

Aiko, who debuted in 1998 and has performed at the Kohaku Uta Gassen 14 times, producing hits like 'Kabutomushi' and 'Hanabi,' was discovered and mentored by Chiba. However, their relationship was far from healthy.

'Chiba isolated me from external connections, surrounding me with only people he approved of. I had no one else to talk to,' aiko testified.

Chiba was deeply involved in almost every aspect of aiko's career, from employee salaries to concert operations. He frequently reminded her, 'If I’m not here, all the trusted staff will leave. Is that what you want?'

Despite aiko’s pleas to reduce merchandise prices for her fans, Chiba ignored her. Over time, aiko found herself unable to oppose Chiba’s control without jeopardizing her music production.

In a desperate attempt to support her agency, aiko lent approximately 460 million yen, despite the strange financial situation where sold-out concerts and high merchandise sales didn’t reflect in the company’s funds.

While Chiba flaunted his wealth, owning luxury cars, two apartments, and a boat, aiko couldn’t defy him. His name was well-known among fans, often mentioned during concerts.

Reflecting on the relationship, a fan likened it to a business partnership gone wrong: 'It’s like the relationship between Otani and Mizuhara. It’s sad and infuriating to see someone she trusted betray her for money.'

Chiba maintains his innocence in court.

Source: ANN

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