On 31st January 2013, “Shukan Bunshun”, a Japanese tabloid reported that AKB48 member Minegishi Minami slept over at Shirahama Alan’s place. Shirahama Alan is a member of “EXILE” spin-off group, “GENERATIONS”. AKB48 is one of the biggest selling groups in Japan and one of the highest-earning musical acts in the world, with 2011 record sales of over US$200 million in Japan alone.

It appears that the publication even had a picture (of Minegishi Minami leaving his place, apparently) to prove it. Yup. Of course they published the picture. It was shared across all social media platforms, which added fuel to the fire.

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Needless to say, when it involves idols or members of idol groups, it automatically becomes a large-scale scandal – especially since she has always claimed that she’s “unpopular” with guys despite the fact that she’s one of the more popular AKB48 members. That one claim from sometime in the past came back to bite her and bite her hard when this incident initially surfaced.

On top of the widely known fact that as with all idols or idol groups’ members, the “no romantic relationship” rule applies. Did we say rule? We meant ban.

So it broke out like an epidemic!

And it took only a few days before 20-year-old Minegishi Minami decided to publicly apologize after being publicly shamed and uh, shave her head as a sign of repentance and new beginning. She also posted up a video of her heartbreakingly sad apology:

[youtube id=”aRTFU-fVWAY” width=”600″ height=”350″]

Translation:

This is AKB48′s Minegishi Minami of Umeda Team B.

I’m extremely sorry that I have caused members, fans, staff, my family and many other people to worry due to the content of the article in the magazine that was published today.

As a fist generation member of AKB48, which formed in 2005, it is my responsibility to be a good role model to my juniors. I deeply regret what I have done. It was thoughtless and I was completely lacking in awareness as a senior member.

My mind went blank and I’m still unable to figure out what to do..what I can do. However, after seeing the magazine a short time ago, I was unable to sit and do nothing any longer. I decided to shave my head without consulting AKB48 management or my agency.

I did not expect that I would be forgiven simply by doing this but the first thing on my mind was: “I don’t want to leave AKB48″. This is a place where the dear that I spent the years of my youth with are and it’s unimaginable to even begin think about leaving the group where I’m blessed with so many wonderful fans.

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While I understand that it may be wishful thinking, but if possible, I would like to still be AKB48′s Minegishi Minami.

This is all my fault and I’m truly sorry. I will leave my punishment in the hands of Akimoto-sensei and management. Though I have yet to get my thoughts straight I just wanted to tell you all what I am feeling.

Thank you for listening.

AKB48’s theater manager, Togosaki Tomonobu later confirmed that Minegishi Minami has been punished and that she will be demoted to a “Kenkyuusei” for the “nuisance” she caused fans due to the scandal.

Note: “Kenkyuusei” basically means trainee. Which leave Minegishi Minami about a heartbeat away from being kicked out/fired.

(Source)

We’re not sure if all of the above was entirely necessary but we’re pretty sure that this is probably one of the worst things to happen to such a young idol. Shave head in remorse for dating? Stripped off of her career in music because she spent a night at her boyfriend’s? Made known loud and clear that she caused a “nuisance”?

And for what? Sigh.

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Lainey
Eats, sleeps, & breathes music, but drinks mostly coffee & okay, some wine - sometimes, a little too much. A little too obsessed with the number seven, is deathly afraid of horror movies, believes that she writes better than she speaks, & currently feeling a little strange writing a profile about herself.