- In addition to posting stolen nude photos of her, Ametsub was also convicted of burglary for breaking into Cuushe's apartment.
Japanese dream pop artist Cuushe has shared her account of stalking, theft and harassment by producer Ametsub.
In a lengthy Facebook post written in both English and Japanese, Cuushe detailed her experiences with Ametsub (real name Akihito Saitoh), which began with anonymous online harassment towards artists on the Japanese label flau and eventually escalated to threats. Saitoh broke into Cuushe's apartment, where he stole, among other personal items, her hard drive and her clothes. He later posted nude or compromising pictures of Cuushe online in, what she says, was an attempt to ruin her career.
Saitoh, who has released music on FaltyDL's Blueberry Records and Nothings66, was apprehended after a second burglary and later convicted. (Blueberry Records has since posted a statement condemning Saitoh's actions.) He was sentenced to three years probation, plus two years and six months in jail if he violates that probation. According to Cuushe, in court, Saitoh revealed no clear motive for his actions, instead changing his reasoning several times. Resident Advisor has contacted Saitoh, who declined to comment on the details of the case.
At his trial, Saitoh promised to stay out of the music industry in order to avoid "emotionally harm[ing] his victims." But Cuushe reports that he played at Taicoclub festival under a secret name shortly after, and has since harassed Cuushe and her associates via Twitter and Instagram again, including messages sympathetic to Saitoh and threats. Taicoclub has since apologized on Twitter to Cuushe and flau, saying they did not know about the case.
"Although I consulted the police, they told me that they are unable to take any action unless there are explicit and specific threats like 'I'm going to kill you,'" Cuushe wrote. "Their only suggestion was for me to delete my social media accounts."
"Through these experiences, I'm learning first-hand how difficult it is to bring online abusers to justice," she added. "Abusers learn quickly how to send veiled threats that prevent police from being able to enforce against them. This allows online harassment to continue, under the cloak of anonymity. Online threats and harassment do real damage, and oftentimes, if the police wait until there are real threats of violence to take action, it will be too late."
Cuushe tells Resident Advisor: "In Japan's music society, almost nobody, especially those who are in the same music scene, mention sexual harassment... People who speak up [about] their sadness or anger tend to be treated like a noise." She adds, "Many fans and people in same industry think 'let sleeping dogs lie.'"
Cuushe said that by coming forward, she wants to bring awareness and empathy towards abuse and harassment. "I just want to be safe and enjoy music without any fears."
RA Japan's Midori Hayakawa contributed to this report.
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