Japanese pop star Minami Minegishi, from girl group AKB48, shaved off her hair and took video of her apology for breaking her band's no-boyfriends rule.
The video, which has almost 6 million views on YouTube, shows the young starlet, sobbing while apologizing to fans for letting them down and pleading to not be forced to leave the band. It was posted from AKB48's official account.
Minegishi, 20, shaved her head in an act of contrition, a tradition in Japan, according to BBC News.
"I don't believe just doing this means I can be forgiven for what I did, but the first thing I thought was that I don't want to quit AKB48," she said in the video, noted BBC. "If it is possible, I wish from the bottom of my heart to stay in the band. Everything I did is entirely my fault. I am so sorry."
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The pop star was caught by prying tabloid cameras leaving the house of her boyfriend, 19-year-old boy-band dancer Alan Shirahama, reported The Guardian. She said her decision to cut off her long locks came after she the photo in Shukan Bunshun, her face covered by a surgical mask and baseball cap.
According to The Independent, the band — made up of girls in their teens and early 20s — has to adhere to strict rules because of its Lolita image of innocent schoolgirls. The band, named after Akihabara district of Tokyo, has some songs with rather risqué lyrics: "I want to take off my school uniform, I want to misbehave, you can do whatever you like, I want to experience adult pleasure."
Minegishi was one of the original members of AKB48, which was started in 2005 and is made up of some 90 girls, noted BBC.
ABC News added that she has been demoted to a trainee team where she will have to work her way back to the top.