(From the Hollywood Reporter)
A 17-year-old former member of a Japanese girl band, or “idol group” as they are called in the country, was found to be in breach of a no-dating clause in her contract and ordered to pay $5,400 (￥650,000) by the Tokyo District Court.
“The clause prohibiting dating was necessary to get the support of male fans,” said Judge Akitomo Kojima in his ruling, adding: “The revelation of an idol’s relationship damages their image.”
Contracts forbidding romantic engagements are standard for members of Japan’s idol groups, but this is understood to be the first time a management company has successfully sued for damages.
The six-member group signed its contract in March 2013 and debuted in July of that year. After reports surfaced that the one member, who would have been 15 at the time, went to a hotel with two male fans, the group was disbanded in October 2013.
The management company claimed damages of $42,375 (￥5.1 million) from the girl and her parents to compensate for the money it had spent on the group. Her parents would have had to sign the contract because she is a minor. But the fact that a minor went to a hotel with two men doesn’t appear to have been a cause of concern for the management or the presiding judge.
Neither the group nor the management company was named in the court report, but online sleuths have deduced from the timeline that it was almost certainly an outfit called DokiDoki (a Japanese onomatopoeic term for a heart beating fast with excitement) that was managed by Spiral Music. Read more