Japan's all-female musical theater company Takarazuka Revue Co. admitted to some claims of harassment against a deceased actress, reversing its earlier denial, a lawyer representing her family said Tuesday.

The bereaved family believes there were 15 incidents of harassment by senior actresses and theater officials before her death, with the theater company admitting to approximately half of them while denying the rest, either partially or entirely, Hiroshi Kawahito, the family's lawyer, said at a press conference.

The 25-year-old actress was found dead on the premises of her condominium in Hyogo Prefecture, western Japan, on the morning of Sept. 30 in what police suspect was a suicide.

Hiroshi Kawahito, a lawyer representing the family of a deceased Takarazuka Revue actress, speaks at a press conference in Tokyo on Feb. 27, 2024. (Kyodo)

In November, the theater company said that a third-party investigation could not confirm bullying or harassment but did acknowledge the psychological stress she suffered due to long working hours.

Takarazuka admitted to harassment after the family asked for another probe, expressing dissatisfaction that the third-party investigation did not fully reflect their opinions.

The family has demanded an apology and compensation from the company, but an agreement has not been reached, Kawahito said, adding the two sides have met several times and plan to meet again.

Among the 15 incidents, the actress suffered burns when a senior theater member pressed a hair iron against her forehead, and senior members yelled at her until dawn.

Takarazuka still denies the hair iron incident, among others, according to the lawyer.

The chairman of Hankyu Hanshin Holdings Inc. will step down as a director of Takarazuka Revue and its training school following the death of the actress, according to a person close to the matter. Hankyu Hanshin Holdings is the parent company of Takarazuka Revue.

Emergency service in Japan: 119

If you are having suicidal thoughts, help is available.

For Japan, call Yorisoi Hotline at 0120279338 (toll-free). Press 2 after the recorded message for consultation in English, Chinese, Korean, Tagalog, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai, Vietnamese, Nepali, or Indonesian. The service in these languages is also available on Facebook messenger.

For those outside Japan, you can find a list of other resources here

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