Singer-songwriter Kauan Okamoto has decided to speak up against the late Japanese entertainment mogul Johnny Kitagawa, of whom he accused of sexually abusing him.
In a press conference that was held in Tokyo on 12 April, the Japanese-Brazilian artiste claimed that the Johnny & Associates founder abused him 15 to 20 times during the four years he was with the company, as early as 2012 when he was only 15.
“I believe that almost all of the boys who went to stay at Johnny’s place were victims,” he said. “If you stayed there, you were unlikely to evade him. I would say 100 to 200 boys stayed there on a rotation basis during my four years at the agency.”
Speaking of the abuse, Kauan, who is now 26, stated that Johnny would invite boys to come spend the night at his place in Tokyo, and that the first time he was abused by the mogul, Johnny paid him ¥10,000 the next day.
“I couldn’t talk about my experiences for a long time. I decided to show my face, but other victims have decided to stay anonymous. That might change… that’s my hope. We’re talking about an incredible number of victims,” he said.
Kauan added that Johnny’s favourites would usually get the opportunity to make their debut, become an actor or join a boy band.
It is noted that rumours of Johnny’s sex abuse had been swirling for years, with magazine Shukan Bunshun publishing several articles based on interviews with teenage boys making similar allegations back in 1999. However, Johnny was never criminally charged.
Johnny & Associates has yet to officially respond to Kauan’s allegations.