Ai Iijima's last days shrouded in mystery
Former porn star-TV personality Ai Iijima, 36, was found dead in her apartment in Tokyo on Dec 24. The sudden news on Christmas Eve surprised people nationwide. Her death has prompted lots of speculation in the tabloid media and on TV variety shows.
“Her room was messy with books, clothes and bottles strewn about when she was found,” says a police investigator. “We found several tobacco packages of different brands. It seems that she was with somebody until the last minute of her death.”
Iijima had no obvious injuries, police said, adding they believe she either died of an illness or committed suicide. However, an autopsy revealed that she had probably been dead for one week before her body was found, but could not pin down the cause of her death. Several types of pharmaceutical products such as the sleeping pill Halcion and cold medicines—all prescribed by doctors—were found in the condominium but no suicide note was found, police said.
Although Iijima retired from showbiz in March, 2007, some big shots were rumored to be closely involved in her retirement. One of them was a real estate entrepreneur in his 30s who was known as “Mr X.”
A friend of Mr X says, “He often calls himself ‘A 100 billion yen man.’ After Iijima got acquainted with him, she used to consult with him about her retirement.” The friend adds, “When Iijima attended his birthday party in 2007, she told her friends that he gave her a watch worth several million yen. She seems to have had a business project with him after her retirement.”
Iijima’s relationship with Mr X, however, didn’t last very long because he fled overseas after some trouble with his investment deals. The source above says that after Iijima lost the support of Mr X, other people approached her with business deals.
One of Iijima’s close friends says, “She was eager to launch a new business after retirement. Developing adult toys was one of her ideas which she wrote about on her blog. She sold her apartment in 2007 but got much less for it than she was expecting. I think that financial troubles is the reason why she recently looked older.”
Neighbors also recall seeing Iijima arguing with someone on her cell phone and wandering outside her apartment barefoot. With the speculation about her post-retirement life and all the messages posted on her blog since her death, it seems Iijima will leave behind a tragic legacy. (Translated by Taro Fujimoto)