Ippei Azalea is a self-made star who rose to fame in the 1990s

Ippei Azalea is a self-made star who rose to fame in the 1990s

Naomi Osaka pulls out of Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo due to illness on Thursday. -Photo by Kenichi Shinohara/Special for the Japan Times, M-Bayashi/Twitter


Ippei Azalea is a self-made star, as befits a former college volleyball player who rose from the ranks on the women’s tour in the late 1990s.

But her story is not without controversy, with a number of women accusing her of sexual harassment and abuse, and a handful of companies having had financial and other legal problems with her.

The allegations started when she started dating actor J. Michael Scott back in 1995, and became a minor celebrity in the Hollywood machine that runs in Japan. At that time, they were married and she had two children, but the relationship soon came under closer scrutiny, with the alleged harassment leading the couple to divorce. She then began dating tennis player David Bonderman, and the couple moved in together in 1997, which ended in the divorce of the couple in 2006.

“I made a mistake to be in the limelight, but it was the only choice I had,” she told the Japan Times. “For me, this was the wrong decision. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life regretting it.”

After being married to Scott, she had two children with him — her daughter and a son from a previous marriage. She then met Bonderman, and they had five children together. She told reporters that she knew this was a bad decision to make, but that it was the only choice at the time.

But after Bonderman died in 2012, and she began dating former PBA teammate Koki Wada, the pair filed for divorce in 2013. The court ruled that she would receive all of Scott’s assets, and he received nothing.

“I had all children, and had children from a previous marriage,” she told The Japan Times. “I made a very big mistake to have children with another man.”


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