Smile-Up Inc begins compensation for victims of sexual abuse by late Johnny & Associates founder

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2nd December 2023 – (Tokyo) Smile-Up Inc, the successor company to Johnny & Associates Inc, announced on Friday that it has initiated the process of compensating victims who suffered sexual abuse at the hands of the late founder of the Japanese talent agency, Johnny Kitagawa. Among the more than 800 individuals seeking redress, 23 victims have received payments thus far.

On 22nd November, Smile-Up revealed that its panel of lawyers, established in September, had verified 35 people as victims of sexual abuse by Kitagawa, who passed away in 2019 at the age of 87. The company began informing these individuals about the compensation plans.

Out of the 35 victims, 30 had expressed their intention to accept the company’s proposal by Thursday, while the remaining five are still reviewing the details, according to Smile-Up.

In addition to the 35 victims, the panel has extended compensation offers to an additional 23 individuals, as confirmed by the company. The total number of individuals seeking compensation stands at 834, as reported by the panel.

“We will provide regular updates on the progress of compensation,” stated Smile-Up in a released statement.

Following the unveiling of the sex abuse scandal, Johnny & Associates underwent a name change on October 17, rebranding itself as Smile-Up. The company committed itself to offering reparations to the victims while outlining plans to establish a separate talent agency to manage former Johnny & Associates performers who choose to enter into new contracts.