Media helicopters hovered overhead and photographers camped out in front of Japan’s top talent agency after one of television’s cleanest-cut stars was arrested for public indecency.
Tsuyoshi Kusanagi of the pop group SMAP was found drunk and naked in a public park in Tokyo, his agency said in a statement. He was alone and shrieking at the top of his voice, media reports said.
“What’s wrong with being naked?” he demanded of a police officer who tried to question him after receiving a complaint about the noise, Kyodo news agency said.
Kusanagi, 34, shot to fame almost 20 years ago as a member of SMAP, the popular boy band whose five members have gone on to monopolise Japanese TV screens in everything from drama to variety and even cookery shows.
The slender Kusanagi is seen as perhaps the most serious of the five, known for his acting skills and fluency in Korean, which brought him fame in South Korea.
“He has such a clean image,” one woman told commercial broadcaster TBS. ”He doesn’t seem like that kind of person.”
Kusanagi’s agency, Johnny & Associates, a big name in the Japanese entertainment world, issued an apology.
“We apologise deeply for the trouble and worry caused to everyone, especially his fans,” the agency said in a statement.