Japanese comedian and TV personality Hitoshi Matsumoto, who recently faced a magazine report over his sexual behavior, will go on hiatus, his managing company said Monday, underscoring his intention to "focus on the trial."

Hitoshi Matsumoto. (Kyodo)

Yoshimoto Kogyo Holdings Co. earlier denied a report in December by Shukan Bushun weekly magazine that Matsumoto, 60, forced several women into sexual activities in 2015, saying the article damaged his reputation.

"I would like to go on hiatus as I will not be able to dedicate myself to comedy as I currently do while simultaneously engaging with the trial," Matsumoto, one half of popular comedy duo "Downtown," said, according to the entertainment agency.

Matsumoto is an ambassador for the 2025 World Exposition in Osaka.



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