Johnny's West's Fujii Ryuusei Faces Allegations of Underaged Drinking and Sexual Violence; May Possibly Withdraw from Group
It has been reported in the 4/24 issue of "Shuukuan Bunshu" that Fujii Ryuusei of the group Johnny's West, which debuted with the single "Ee Janaika" on 4/23, engaged underage drinking and smoking. It has been stated in the article that there is one female victim that Fujii brought to a hotel and tried to forcefully have sexual intercourse with, and in the same magazine's gravure page, there is photographic evidence of Fujii holding a cigarette in his hand in a hotel room [while underage].
According to the magazine, the incident in question occurred in the month of June in the year 2012. The woman visited a club in Osaka with two other friends, where she met Fujii. Fujii invited the three of them to a hotel, saying, "Let's drink away our problems at a hotel." It is said that at the time Fujii was just 18 years old, but smoked as if he did so habitually, and drank whisky straight. When the woman refused alcohol, Fujii said "I'll make you drink it" and forced the alcohol towards her mouth, then pushed heron the bed, where the woman refused intercourse, when Fujii forced her to perform oral sex.
"Many worries will arise about their activities now that such an article has arisen at the same time of Johnny's West's debut. At the time NEWS debuted, in a magazine one of the members, Morita Takahiro, had suspicious pictures of smoking, drinking, and being intimate with a woman were publicized. One month later, he withdrew from the group." - Reporter/ Johnny's Expert
At first, Fujii, who didn't make the cut to be a member of the group, was part of direct talks with Johnny Kitagawa to become a member along with Kiriyama Akito and Nakama Junta. Johnny's West publicly went from four members to seven members and officially debuted, but now the scandal of having past misdeeds revealed has fallen upon them.
"In the 6/2011 issue of Shuukan Josei, pictures of former Hey! Say! Jump! Morimoto Ryuutaro smoking while underage were published. He was unable to return to the group and is now in the current state of being withdrawn from the entertainment world. Ever since that one incident, strict rule enforcement was practiced for all underage Johnny's, but given the differences of Kansai and Tokyo, the surveillance from the company and the surrounding people is famously lenient [for Kansai]. At the time of debut, it is expected that any private relationships with fans be cut off and that each individual make those arrangements, in Fujii's case, during his time as a Junior, he lacked the consciousness of a professional." -Same Reporter
One fans received this information, various opinions arose such as "I can't sympathize with him," "He isn't suitable to be an idol," "They are delusional if they only do "direct talks" and don't make with withdraw." While there isn't direct proof that Fujii was drinking, in the magazine's photo there is a can of beer next to him, and the woman who made the accusations states "He is not a favorable young man. He is a brute."
Fujii, who finally managed to debut thanks to help from his friends is now the cause of interference of the group's success. Will Johnny's West be able to continue activities as a seven member group for many years to come?
Whether or not these accusations are true, it has been a messy year for Johnny's.
On Japanese twitter and several Japanese websites, fans have been promoting the theory that it is not Fujii Ryuusei in the photos, but a model named Ibuka Katsuhiko.
Here you can find various tweets (in Japanese) by fans discussing the manner.
The comparison pics:
Here is another article describing this theory, which basically says that a bunch of fans are saying the photos printed in the magazine are of Ibuka, who resembles Fujii. Even if the photograph(s) are not of him, it has not been made clear whether or not the Johnny's West member committed the acts described. I googled his name, and did not find anything that said that Johnny's Entertainment has taken any disciplinary action nor made comment. Ibuka has made no comment either, apparently. So, I guess only time will tell.