Sakai Noriko appeared at the production press conference of her new stage play "Aozora no Kyoushikyoku ~ Oichi no Kata Gaiden ~" on 24 November which also doubled up as her return press conference. She had been given a three-year suspended prison sentence back in 2009 for violating the Stimulants Control Act.
During the press conference, Sakai was swamped with questions from the media on her case, her drug habit and how she is going to deal with the harsh eyes on her now that she's back in the public eye. She commented that she was grateful for the chance to perform in front of everyone again and said that she didn't think this day would come when she was arrested and subsequently serving the suspended sentence. By being in the public eye again, she knows very well that she might be criticized and be viewed unfavorably but she is prepared for whatever may come. Sakai stressed that she had already kicked her drug habit and has no intention of going back to her old ways. Besides, she has been seeing a doctor and going through counseling which has helped to prevent withdrawal symptoms and hallucinations usually seen in people who try to kick the habit.
When asked about her son, Sakai said that he's old enough to know what happened in the past and she will do her best for the rest of her life to make it up to him for what he had suffered. As for her ex-husband, she said that ultimately, she was the one who made the mistake so she has no intention of blaming him for what happened. Her tattoos on her hand and leg were also erased.
When asked about her studies of welfare and care-giving, Sakai said that she is going to continue with her studies but while going through the process, she realized that she really wanted to be a performer and this was what prompted her to make her return to acting.