However, as the controversy is still hot in the press, a fresh scandal involving Yamashita has emerged. According to the 23rd October issue of "Shukan Bunshun", Yamashita was reported to have gone on a date at three restaurants and bars with model Omori Michi who is also his former senior high schoolmate on 15 October from 9pm onwards and the two were caught checking into the upscale Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel at Shibuya in a drunken state. Yamashita was seen with the hotel room key in his hand and left the hotel alone in the afternoon of the following day. When asked about this matter, Omori's agency confirmed that Yamashita and Omori did meet up but they were not dating. Yamashita's agency claimed that they were at the hotel to join a party with other friends and there was nothing romantic going on between them. However, as Yamashita's both scandals had to do with drinking i.e. he was reportedly drunk when he snatched the handphone from the lady in the June case and was also said to be drunk when he headed to the hotel with Omori, his agency had already issued a severe warning to him against his over-drinking but maintained that there are no changes to his work schedule at the moment.
Source: Sanspo / Business Journal / Shukan Bunshun
Frankly speaking, an adult should know how to behave without having people to remind him or her. Drinking is not necessarily bad as people can gather together over drinks and chat etc but if it becomes something that you have no control over, it reflects very badly on you. What's more, we are talking about a celebrity here. Yamashita is not underage so technically, there is no rule saying that you can't drink or get drunk. However, when this drinking causes you to be a nuisance to others, cause trouble for others or affects your career adversely, it's time to think whether you should change. Think of Kusanagi Tsuyoshi's embarrassing scandal some years ago, he apologised, stopped drinking for a long time and was sincere about not repeating his mistake so people could forgive him and look back on that incident as a joke. Then again, the nature of Kusanagi's case and Yamashita's case are rather different.
Regarding the criminal case, I think something's really not quite right about it. If you look at the action in question, he snatched the handphone away from that woman who was filming the argument between her friends and Yamashita's group. This is theft, no matter how you look at it. I just cannot fathom how this is criminal damage of property as the handphone wasn't even damaged. No doubt I am not trained in law, I think it has to do with the fact that Yamashita's side reached a settlement with the other party thus allowing the charge to be "downgraded". Besides, if a settlement is reached, chances are, the prosecutors would not go ahead with pressing charges. Which is effectively what many reports these two days are saying, "Yamashita is pretty much off the hook for this case".
Now, I'm not trying to be vicious and out to get him just because he's probably not going to be punished in any way but the way this case is reported in the press also raises many questions. Back in the summer when news of this case first broke in the tabloids, we already knew that there were three celebrities involved i.e. Yamashita, Akanishi Jin and Nishikido Ryo. In fact, Akanishi was fingered as the reason why the argument took place between both parties and Yamashita and Nishikido were more of like "onlookers" according to initial reports. It was extremely laughable to see reports saying things like "Yamashita and his two singer friends" just to mask the connection with Akanishi and Nishikido as if they had nothing to do with this case even though the whole world knows otherwise. Was Yamashita made the sole scapegoat for this entire saga? Granted he might have been provoked by the other group into doing this, I think he might not have done what he did if he was sober.
As for his latest scoop with going to a hotel with a woman, let's just say that this is essentially his private matter and even if they are really dating or just having a fling, it wouldn't have hurt his image as much as it was exposed at any time other than now. The issue at hand is, his earlier case in June wasn't even resolved at the time he went on this date and there he was, drinking freeely again and being not so discreet about his tryst. It's as if he was sending this message that he wasn't bothered at all by what happened in June. Shukan Bunshun also probably timed the release of this story in one way or another to have the maximum impact now. Which brings me to another unrelated question though, if Bunshun was so eager to share the news about Yamapi in a week's time (they caught him on 15th Oct and published the story on 23rd Oct), why did FRIDAY sit on the Takenouchi scoop for one year???
I'm sure there will be more conspiracy theories we'll hear about as the story develops...