Yui Asakura Further Details Her Issues With Agency
Yui Asakura and her former agency LIBERA each share their own side of the story regarding Asakura’s behavior and termination of contract in this interview with Weekly Bunshun Magazine.
On July 5, Yui Asakura (Hana / Kamen Rider Aguilera, Kamen Rider Revice) reported the details of “malicious stalking” on her Instagram account and announced not long after that she would be leaving her agency Libera because of their lack of support among many other issues.
In this interview with Bunshun Online, she went into detail regarding her contract, last-minute cancellations, cohabitation with actor Ryo Sekoguchi, and wage issues in an article published by Bunshun Online. Bunshun Online also reached out to Libera for their thoughts regarding Asakura’s claims.
Asakura and Her Pay Dispute
Asakura: How long am I supposed to endure all of this? I want my fans and everyone else who’s supported me to know the truth. I want to first talk about the reason why I was fired and my agency’s announcement. I was the one who brought up my resignation to my agency in March  in the first place. I even presented a resignation letter. I was very distrustful of my agency. That’s where everything started.
Bunshun: Why don’t you trust them?
Asakura: I joined my agency in August 2020 after the agency’s president approached me. As part of my agency’s rules, my Twitter feed was managed by the vice-president who is also my manager. On my Twitter, they’d write things that made it seem like I was working even though it was my day off and even make remarks about things I’ve never even said, causing trouble to my clients. I got into a huge argument when I pointed this out to my manager. I may have looked very brash to them considering I was still a newcomer.
Bunshun: Your relationship with your manager is the reason why you left?
Asakura: No, it wasn’t. It was the catalyst. I posted about it on my Instagram, but the biggest reason I left was because of my pay. Since last fall, my salary was frequently transferred to my account for the wrong amounts. I wasn’t the only one who was experiencing pay issues. Other talents in the agency were as well. I’ve also heard that some people received their appearance fees late.
Bunshun: I heard you were overpaid by 2,000,000 yen once.
Asakura: My wage is calculated based on a monthly salary and a commission system. It was just one time, but I remember receiving a high amount because calendar sales were great. But it wasn’t the amount that made me very distrustful of my agency. It was because of how late it came and how it was all calculated incorrectly. If my talk about my pay wage on Instagram was misleading, it’s because I didn’t word it well enough. My apologies.
(UPDATE November 11, 2022: In a recent Instagram post, Asakura claims that the issues surrounding her pay were not the inciting cause of her leaving LIbera.)
Text Exchange Regarding Pay
Manager: Hello. I understand. I am calculating your percentage for the calendar, but the calculation I sent is incorrect. Would you be able to wait a little bit?
Asakura: When you say the one you “sent,” which calculation were you referring to? Would you be able to send it to me? I thought the calendar pay split was 50-50 with the agency. I would like to know which calculation you made a mistake on.
Manager: The calendar pay is split 50-50. Please let me explain in a way that is clearer, including which part of the calculation I made a mistake on. Thank you very much.
Bunshun: There’s a report that states your photoshoot was cancelled at the very last minute. Is that true?
Asakura: It’s not. Back in February , I had a fever the day before my photoshoot. I reached out to my manager about it, thinking it was COVID. My manager told me that he’d reach out to the production department, but they didn’t get back to me after that. They’re hopeless, so I reached out myself and asked if I could take a break. That whole day just seemed odd to me. This April, I was hospitalized with Ascending Colon Diverticulitis because of the stress I was dealing with in regards to my resignation. Even after I was discharged, I continued going to the hospital despite returning to work, and I persevered.
Bunshun: It’s also said that you’re habitually tardy.
Asakura: I overslept twice during the production of Revice. I once woke up at 7 AM and was two hours late. I really caused a lot of trouble to everyone on set that day. (Note: filming for Kamen Rider and Super Sentai usually begins very early in the day.)
Bunshun: Is it true you rejected every photobook plan?
Asakura: I am very thankful for the work I get, but I’m not comfortable showing my skin nor when people look at me sexually. When I was asked to do a photobook, I felt that I reached my limit. When my manager told me about the photobook, they didn’t mention anything about bikinis. I remember telling them that I wouldn’t be able to do that when they said bikinis are a must.
Bunshun: There are rumors saying you were a cabaret girl in the past. Is that true?
Asakura: I’m not sure how this’ll get twisted and reported later, so I’ll tell the truth. I wasn’t a cabaret girl, but when I needed money, I worked at a bar-like place that my manager managed.
Bunshun: You wrote on social media that you were a victim of stalking, and later on the tabloids wrote that you and actor Ryo Sekoguchi were living together. What happened?
Asakura: I actually did have a stalker. My parents live in Aomori, and I didn’t want to cause them any trouble. I asked my agency to provide me some kind of shelter, but they didn’t respond, so I asked Ryo Sekoguchi since our parents are friends.
Text Exchange Regarding Stalker Incident
Manager: I am taking over for [redacted]. Since this has become a case, a lawyer will first connect you directly to the police department’s footage. Can you tell me the police station you consulted and the person in charge?
Asakura: Can you call right now?
Manager: Hold on a minute. Send me the info of the person in charge. I’ll have the lawyer work on it at the same time.
Asakura: I need to talk to you first.
Manager: I can’t take a call because I’m driving. It’s getting late. I’ve told the lawyer what’s going on.
Asakura: Any time in the next few days is fine. I just need you to call me.
Asakura: (unspecified number of days later) Hello. From the security camera footage, it didn’t appear to be the resident. He was captured hiding from the wall, pointing his phone at me.
Bunshun: So you’re not dating Sekoguchi?
Asakura: No, I am not. As soon as I moved to Tokyo, I went to a beauty salon owned by his mother, and we became friends through her. It’s really a shame that people don’t get that my relation with him is just platonic friendship. I went to his house once this past winter to visit him, but I haven’t been to his house since. Until the stalking incident. Right when I took refuge at his place, FRIDAY took photos of us. I tried to explain things to my agency, but they didn’t understand, and I was really broken when they wrote a comment that pushed me away.
Bunshun: Will you continue acting?
Asakura: I would like to continue. I really enjoyed working as an actress. I learned a lot. I want to return everyone’s kindness. That’s why it’s really hard for me to hear news reports that are not true one after another.
Bunshun’s Interview with Asakura’s Manager
Manager: No one’s saying she behaves poorly, but media outlets who’ve collected data have said things like “she skips work,” “she grumbles about going to work,” and “is late by two hours.” And those are all true. I want you to ask the President about the details regarding her salary, contract, and the whole story of her handing in her resignation letter. Asakura has been the President’s problem until the very end, and because of an exception, is on a salary system. As for the photo book, she certainly didn’t want to wear a bathing suit, but we had a meeting with her about it. I want to say that there is a misunderstanding somewhere, but we did not force any media outlet to write things about her. In this day and age, management and talent are established as business partners. If she really wanted to quit, she could have just quit as long as it didn’t cause any inconvenience to Toei.
Additional Response from LIBERA
LIBERA: That claim (about her pay) is not true. She has never experienced any kind of pay issue. This has happened a lot, but if there were miscalculations, we’d immediately pay the remaining balance the next day. It is true that we did overpay her once, but her claims about her pay, nonpayment, and pay being over a day late, are not true. Her public claim about “financial issues related to salary” is defamation against our company, and we are considering legal action. Please look at her LINE image carefully, part of it is inconveniently hidden. We have objective records of all her salary and remuneration payments. We have also never been late with other talents’ wages. However, this excludes payments made the next business day after minor amount adjustments and so on. Now, regarding her stalker situation, where she said we did nothing. That is simply not true. Our company, whom manages her, have been in constant communication with the police, and cooperated with the investigation by submitting requested materials and otherwise. Since we are not the victim, we cannot report any grievances on her behalf, and we have informed Asakura to that effect. Please confirm this point with the police.
(NOTE: More counter claims have since been made regarding her behavior according to members of Kamen Rider Revice‘s production staff.)