BARELY two weeks after Rino Sashihara (centre) placed fourth in votes by fans in the Japanese girl group AKB48's general election on June 6, she was relegated to their less-popular sister group, HKT48, allegedly because of a scandal.
A man claiming to be her ex-boyfriend spoke to a Japanese magazine about their romance. He also released a photo Sashihara allegedly took of herself baring her breasts.
Sashihara, who told fans she would never go on a date, denied the romance. But, on Tuesday, unaware that a secret camera was turned on her, she admitted to the relationship during a private conversation with the host of a Japanese TV show.
Her fans are now furious she had lied to them, calling it a betrayal. Emotions ran so high that some said they want to sue her for fraud.
This article was first published in The New Paper.