Kaori Manabe (29) is facing another lawsuit, it was recently learned. Still in the middle of a messy legal battle with her former agency Avilla, the company’s owner Masaya Makino (43) has now filed a lawsuit seeking 100 million yen in damages for defamation.
Manabe’s battle with Avilla stretches back to January 2009, when her former agency Avantgarde (run by Makino) was formally accused of tax evasion. Makino was eventually arrested in August 2009, and as part of the investigation, Manabe herself also fell under suspicion. Shortly after Makino’s arrest, she filed a lawsuit seeking the dissolution of her contract with Avilla, but Avilla later countersued her for breach of contract, claiming that she failed to fulfill her work obligations.
The most recent lawsuit was filed earlier this week on August 23 by Makino himself. He is seeking 100 million yen for defamation, based on accusations that Manabe’s side made during the ongoing trial for her original lawsuit. Manabe’s lawyers presented documents in court saying that some celebrities had quit the agency due to sexual harassment by Makino, and that Makino’s conduct included threats that he would force those women to have an abortion if they got pregnant. According to Makino’s lawsuit, the claims are based on vague hearsay and are untrue. However, he says that they have still had a damaging effect on his reputation.
Sankei Sports tried reaching Manabe’s lawyer for comment, but had not received a response by the time the news of the lawsuit was reported.