More than 6,000 people crowded outside a Tokyo courthouse Monday as Japanese actress Noriko Sakai pleaded guilty to drug use and prosecutors sought a prison sentence in a trial that has caused a media frenzy.
The 38-year-old Sakai was among the first Japanese actresses to gain popularity in Asia, and her arrest in August threatened to shatter her wholesome image.
The scandal has dominated headlines for months in Japan, and authorities have said they will crack down on drug use in the entertainment industry.
Prosecutors accused Sakai of inhaling amphetamines in July on the southern island of Amami Oshima, where she went with her husband and their son to view a lunar eclipse. Investigators also found a tiny amount of the drug in her Tokyo condominium. Sakai was arrested after turning herself in, following a weeklong disappearance.