Broken heart blamed for death of martial arts mentor
Jan. 9, 2003
The president of a company that organizes popular "PRIDE" martial arts events hanged himself at a hotel in Tokyo's Shinjuku-ku Thursday apparently after his young lover dumped him, company officials claimed. It was initially believed that Naoto Morishita, president of Dream Stage Entertainment (DSE), a company that organizes "PRIDE" martial arts events, was driven to death due to business-related trouble, but a senior DSE official dismissed the possibility.
"President Morishita reportedly had an argument with his girlfriend at the hotel. I think he had a fit of depression and took his life," DSE executive Nobuyuki Sakakibara told a news conference held Thursday evening. Sakakibara said the 42-year-old DSE president checked in at the hotel in the Nishi Shinjuku district with his girlfriend on Wednesday night. However, the woman, believed to be in her 20s, reportedly told Morishita that she wanted to separate from him.
Following the argument, the DSE president holed himself up in the toilet of the hotel room. The woman found Morishita hanged shortly after midnight Wednesday. DSE has organized 24 highly lucrative PRIDE events featuring fights between wrestlers, judo experts and kick boxers since 1997. Sakakibara said the 25th PRIDE event will take place as schedule on March 16.
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