“You have such an awful personality. Is there any value to your life?” and “Hey, hey. When will you die?” were some messages sent by a Japanese man to 22-year-old Terrace House star Hana Kimura, before she committed suicide in May 2020.
Japanese man charged for cyberbullying Netflix star who committed suicide
The man, who is in his twenties, was referred to prosecutors late last year. He was suspected of cyberbullying the Netflix reality show star on Twitter, leaving abusive messages repeatedly on her social media, reported Nikkei.
While around 300 hateful messages were left by roughly 200 other accounts, local authorities found his messages particularly malicious, and had criminal liability.
Kimura, who was also a professional wrestler, was found dead in May 2020 in her apartment in Tokyo, in a suspected suicide. The police believe that the hateful comments resulted in her taking her own life.
On the day she died, Kimura left a message on her social media:
“Nearly 100 frank opinions every day. I couldn’t deny that I was hurt. I’m dead. Thank you for giving me a mother. It was a life I wanted to be loved. Thank you to everyone who supported me. I love it. I’m weak, I’m sorry. I don’t want to be a human anymore. It was a life I wanted to be loved. Thank you everyone, I love you. Bye.”
Man told her “to die” after on-air incident in Terrace House episode
Online users noted that Kimura had been receiving death threats and criticisms after an incident that happened between her and another housemate at Terrace House, which was seen in an episode scene in March 2020.
Some of the hate comments also targeted Kimura’s appearance and asked her to leave the show earlier.
The man, who admitted to a charge of public insult, told the police he “wanted to get back at (Kimura) after seeing her act violently toward a male (cast member) on the show”, reported Nikkei.
He also sent an apology email to her family in June 2020, according to the police.
Fined S$110 by Tokyo court
A court in Tokyo had issued an order to fine him 9,000 yen (S$110), reported NHK.
Several users online found the sentence too lenient, some noting that the man got off without a criminal record.
Many agreed that the sentence had little impact, and set a weak precedent for future incidents.
Some users were concerned that the light punishment would result in similar harassment issues to persist.
According to BBC, under Japanese law, the crime of “insulting”, which the man has been charged with has a maximum penalty of 9,999 yen (S$122).
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