National / Crime & Legal

Denki Groove's Pierre Taki given suspended sentence for cocaine use

Kyodo

The Tokyo District Court on Tuesday sentenced Pierre Taki, an actor and member of Japanese techno-pop duo Denki Groove, to 18 months in prison, suspended for three years, for using cocaine.

The court ruled that Taki, 52, whose real name is Masanori Taki, snorted a small amount of cocaine at an apartment in Tokyo around March 12.

The judge said Taki was not addicted to cocaine but continued using it in repeated violation of the law.

“(Taki) used cocaine alone while watching movies and listening to music to relieve stress from work, being under pressure in his private life as he expanded his activities from being a musician to acting,” Judge Hironobu Ono said in handing down the ruling.

Ono, however, gave Taki a suspended term, taking into consideration the fact that he has been discharged from his management company and is under the supervision of a doctor to ensure he does not take cocaine again.

“I am very sorry for causing so much trouble to everyone. I will keep in mind that I should never do this kind of thing again” Taki said in a statement after the ruling.

His arrest reverberated through Japan’s entertainment industry.

As well as appearing at a number of overseas dance music festivals with Denki Groove, Taki was the voice of snowman Olaf in the Japanese-dubbed version of the hit Disney animated movie “Frozen” and had parts in numerous domestic films and television series.

Sony Music Artists Inc. terminated its management contract with Taki following his arrest. Following his indictment, he was released on bail of ¥4 million ($36,000) on April 4.

Prosecutors had demanded an 18-month prison term, saying he had been using cocaine since his 20s.