One of the less memorable show biz scandals of 1998 involved the 48-year-old actress Ayako Sawada and her 36-year-old manager/husband Yukihide Matsuno. The pair had been married only a few years, but Sawada wanted out. She accused the dour Matsuno of physical and mental abuse, not only of herself but of her daughter, the product of an earlier nonmarital liaison.

Matsuno refused to grant the divorce and even tried to sue Sawada for defamation of character. He implied that he had married the actress to save her honor, and this was how she paid him back. Eventually, Sawada and her daughter moved out of the house, which was in her name. Matsuno, hurting and naive, opened the door to any tabloid reporter who knocked on it and let the self-pity flow.

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