The professional wrestling world was in mourning earlier this year following the passing of Stardom star Hana Kimura at the age of 22.
Kimura was a cast member on Terrace House at the time of her passing and was depicted as a villain on the reality TV series. The Stardom star received online harassment daily before her death following a March episode in which she slapped a housemate's hat off their head after they shrunk her Wrestle Kingdom 14 outfit in the washing machine. Hana's mother Kyoko Kimura has previously said the incident was staged by the producers of Terrace House. Tokyo Metropolitan Police believe Kimura took her own life as a result of the online harassment.
According to Nikkei Asia, a man in his 20s from Osaka is likely to be referred to prosecutors because of "hateful messages" he posted against Hana Kimura. He allegedly left anonymous comments on her Twitter posts in mid-May, writing things like "Is there any value to your life?" and "Hey, when are you going to die?"
Tokyo Metropolitan Police confirmed approximately 300 hateful messages were sent to Hana from 200 different accounts following the March episode. The police deemed that the man from Osaka needed to be charged because his posts were "particularly malicious."
The man has admitted to a charge of public insult and told police during questioning that he "wanted to get back at [Kimura] after seeing her act violently toward a male [cast member] on the show."
Investigators also noted the man sent an apology email to Kimura's family in June.
The charge against the man could result in a prison sentence of up to 29 days or a fine of between 1,000 and 10,000 yen.