Tuesday 5 February 2013, 12:14 | By Andy Malt
Boyfriend of disgraced AKB48 singer apologises to fans
The alleged boyfriend of AKB48 singer Minami Minegishi, Aran Shirahama, also a J-pop star in his own right, has made his first public comment on the scandal surrounding the two of them.
As previously reported, the couple fell under the media glare in Japan after Japanese magazine Shukan Bunshun published an exposé claiming that Minegishi and Shirahama had spent the night together, breaking the ‘no dating’ rule put in place by AKB48′s management. Minegishi was subsequently demoted to the lowest rank in her hierarchical band and shaved her head in order to show the sincerity of her regret over the matter.
A video of Minegishi, with her newly shaved head, issuing a tearful apology was uploaded to YouTube last week but removed after widespread derision both within Japan and internationally.
The only initial comment from Shirahama’s side came in the form of a statement from his management reps immediately after the exposé was published, saying: “We leave his private life up to him. He told us that they were nothing more than just good friends”.
Though on Sunday at an event to launch his group Generations’ new single, ‘Animal’, Shirahama told 1500 assembled fans: “I am so sorry for the trouble I’ve caused. I will try to be better in future”. According to Sponichi Annex, he also claimed that he had never touched Minegishi.