Bizarre lawsuit over Dentsu CEO’s alleged perversions

I don’t even know what to say about this, except that you probably really want to read the actual lawsuit document over at The Smoking Gun.

A top advertising executive who allegedly enjoyed photographing the crotches of unsuspecting females, snapped a close-up shot of Maria Sharapova’s nether region as the tennis star posed for a Canon camera ad, according to a new lawsuit. In the complaint, filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in New York, Steve Biegel charges that he was fired by Dentsu Holdings, the giant Japanese advertising agency, after complaining about the photographic hobby of Toyo Shigeta, the firm’s CEO, who allegedly distributed the Sharapova photo to subordinates. Included as an exhibit to Biegel’s lawsuit, which alleges a variety of other lewd behavior on the part of Shigeta and other Dentsu executives, is the purported photo of Sharapova, which can be seen below. The image, Biegel contends, was surreptitiously snapped by Shigeta in April 2005 during a break in the filming of a Canon commerical at a tennis center in Key Biscayne, Florida. According to Biegel, a Dentsu creative director who oversaw the Canon ad campaign, Shigeta used a telephoto lens to take the “crotch shot.” In fact, Biegel alleges, Shigeta “proudly” gave him an electronic copy of the Sharapova photo (which is now Exhibit B in the federal discrimination lawsuit). Biegel contends that while Sharapova was unaware that she was being photographed by Shigeta, he and the athelete’s makeup woman realized what was going on. Through a Dentsu spokesperson, Shigeta denied taking the Sharapova photo. The ad firm branded Biegel’s allegations “outrageous” and said it would file a counterclaim for libel and fraud.

16 thoughts on “Bizarre lawsuit over Dentsu CEO’s alleged perversions”

  1. MF, please fix the above links to correct “http.”

    Love the link from the NYTimes, Tomojiro, and Dentsu’s attempt to counter the accusations:

    “The company said it would fight the lawsuit, which it described as a disgruntled former employee’s attempt to get ”money to which he is not entitled.” “When Dentsu refused to yield to Mr. Biegel’s unreasonable demands, he made outrageous allegations which the company has refuted.”

    There you have it, a very Japanese company unable to comprehend the liability to which they are exposed in the US, and who probably haven’t even consulted a real lawyer yet. I’ll be surprised if Biegel walks away with less than $5 million in a settlement.

  2. OK, fixed the links. I remember that last week I also read an article about an foreign employee being forced by his Japanese boss to visit prostitutes in the Czech Republic or something on a business trip, but I forget if it was the same case, or the same company. Does anyone else remember?

  3. There was quite a bit of action on this at other blogs, such as Japan Probe, last week.
    No idea what all the Jewish stuff is about myself….

  4. Oh, you haven’t heard that “Jewish connection with Japan” story before? There is conclusive proof; “Gion” sounds like “Zion”!!! Both places hold festivals!!! The only Masonic lodge in Japan is located just north of the main drag!!!

    I thought that particular myth was as well-known as the one about Jesus settling in Aomori. Robert Langdon is on his way.

  5. Bryce – I know about the idea (fantasy) that the Japanese are a Lost Tribe of Israel etc, but that doesn’t seem to fit in with this guy’s lawsuit, which is more like slipping in suggestions that he and his fellow Jew working there were fired for being Jews.

  6. I remember seeing a Masonic lodge or temple or whatever just down the block from Tokyo Tower (and directly across the street from a church where I was attending a friend’s wedding. Is that really the only one in the entire country?

    On a related note, the really awesome looking Masonic Temple in my town, which had actually been vacant for years, is currently in the process of being remodeled into a beauty salon or spa or something. Clearly they have fallen from their lofty heights of yore.

  7. I thought if you are the one and only allmighty DENTSU CEO,all you need is snap your finger and Maria Sharapova gets naked.Not that so easy,huh.

  8. The lodge next to Tokyo Tower is the Grand Lodge of Japan.

    If I am correct, that means that all other lodges in the country would have to be registered through that one. Looks like masonry everywhere else. Upper-middle class white men interpreting a bunch of spiritual nonsense ad infinitum with a bit of drinking at the end.

    The one in Kyoto, though, looks like it is run by Japanese. It’s probably a hoot. Or it’s upper-middle class Japanese men interpreting a bunch of spiritual nonsense ad infinitum with a bit of drinking at the end.

    Apologies to any Brothers (the white middle class kind, not the gangstas) out there.

  9. FreeMason was a respectable organisation in occupied Japan.Macarthur was a mason,So was Yoshida Shigeru and Hatoyama Ichiro.I think Shidehara Kijyuuro was also a member.

  10. I dont see any connection for the jewish mentions in the lawsuit, especially as they don”t seem to have any bearing on the factual claims (which are based on gender discrimination/sexual harassment), and its kind of a silly ass lawsuit, so your boss takes you to a brothel and when you refuse, he gets angry and tells you “you are no fun.” wow, that sounds hugely demeaning. i mean right there case closed, outright attempts to humiliate and demean you. The sharapova bit is funny, but seems to have been thrown in as a smear against the boss (i can see the connection of establishing a trend of innappropriate sexual behavior, but the bathhouse thing throws me off too, how did the plaintiff make it through high school gym class?)

  11. “Hey , has anyone seen any mention of this story in the Japanese mainstream media?”

    Actually,no. I was wondering why.

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