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Actor Hiroki Narimiya Retires After Cocaine Use Allegations

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Live-action Assassination Classroom, NANA, Ace Attorney actor denies claims

The agency of 34-year-old actor Hiroki Narimiya announced on Friday that Narimiya is retiring from the entertainment industry.

Kodansha's Friday magazine had published an article on December 2 accusing Narimiya of using cocaine and other illegal drugs. Narimiya's agency responded after Kodansha published the article, stating that the accusations were "groundless." Narimiya also said on December 2 that the accusations were "groundless" and he "felt extreme resentment" toward the allegations, adding "I have absolutely never used drugs."

In a handwritten statement faxed to news agencies on Thursday, Narimiya stated that a friend whom he "had trusted from the bottom of his heart" had "betrayed" him. He also stated, "I can no longer bear it when I think that my privacy will continue to be exposed to the world due to someone else's malice." He cited that statement, and also not wanting to cause any more trouble for those around him, as his reasons for retiring from the entertainment industry.

Narimiya's agency said it was surprised at Narimiya's sudden proposal to retire. The agency added that due to its social obligations, it investigated the claims, had police interview Narimiya, and gave Narimiya a drug test, but couldn't confirm any use of illegal drugs. The agency stated it discussed Narimiya's sudden proposal to retire with him several times, but said "[Narimiya's] determination was very strong," so the agency decided to go forward with his proposal.

Narimiya has played several roles in live-action adaptations of manga, such as Nobu in NANA, Page in Akihabara @ DEEP, Noda in Gokusen, Tomoki in Last Quarter, and Sojiro in Sakuran. He has also played Ryuichi Naruhodo/Phoenix Wright in Takashi Miike's live-action Ace Attorney film. More recently, he also played Kōtarō Yanagisawa in the Assassination Classroom: Graduation live-action film and Jinzaburo in the live-action Futagashira series.

Narimiya is also known for his role of Tōru Kai in the Aibō live-action franchise.

Image via Topcoat, © LESLIE KEE / anana

Sources: Sports Hochi, The Mainichi, Oricon via Otakomu

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