Former NEWS member Yuya Tegoshi has held a press conference to explain the circumstances of his departure from the Japanese group.
The entertainer's departure from NEWS and his agency Johnny & Associates was announced last week. The idol had already been taking a break from activities after he was reported to have held a drinking party with friends during Japan's COVID-19 state of emergency.
In a press conference held online with a lawyer present, Tegoshi stated that he had plans to leave NEWS for some time, and had first considered it four years ago. There was no issue between the members who he considers close friends, but he wanted to challenge himself more.
Tegoshi had planned to announce his departure from the group after they completed their nationwide tour in support of their 11th studio album STORY, but the tour was cancelled due to COVID-19.
He denied that the gathering he'd attended during the break was a drinking party, but rather a meeting to plan ahead for charity events and more. However, since Johnnys engaged a lawyer following the rumours, he also has a lawyer representing him as they end the contract which wasn't due to expire until next year.
The idol has since opened a personal Twitter account which has over 1.1 million followers already, and also has a personal YouTube channel.
You can watch his full press conference in Japanese here.
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