A cyber-bully has been fined for sending hateful messages to a professional wrestler before she took her own life.
Japanese wrestler and Netflix reality show star Hana Kimura was just 22 years old when she killed herself on May 23 last year by inhaling toxic gas in her Tokyo home.
Kimura became a target for internet trolls after the airing of an episode of Terrace House: Tokyo in which she was shown arguing with a housemate who had damaged her expensive wrestling gear.
Before her death, Kimura posted photos on social media suggesting that she was being cyber-bullied and was struggling with self-harm. The last post she ever made, uploaded the day before her death, featured a photo of the star and her cat along with the message “goodbye.”
The unidentified man, who is aged in his 20s, posted multiple comments about Kimura. In one he told the wrestler that she had an “awful personality” and in another he asked her “when will you die?”
Japanese media reported that after Kimura’s death, the cyber-bully apologized to her family for his actions.
The Terrace House show, in which six young people shared a home in Japan’s capital city, started in 2012 but was later canceled.
Kimura’s mother Kyoko Kimura filed a human rights violation claim against the show’s makers, accusing them of stoking conflict between the show’s participants and of failing to provide them with adequate aftercare.
This week, the Japan Times reported that the human rights committee of the Broadcasting Ethics & Program Improvement Organization had found that no human rights violation had taken place. However, the committee did find that Fuji TV should have done more to secure the mental and physical well-being of the show’s participants, and the company had “problems in terms of broadcasting ethics.”
Kimura’s mother said: “I hope that Fuji Television reevaluates how they produce programs and not see people as mere pawns but treat them with care as actual individuals.”