Sawajiri Erika pleads guilty to drug use, says she has no plans of returning to acting + prosecution seeks 18 months in prison

Sawajiri Erika was arrested for drug possession back in November of last year, and now the actress faces up to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to using drugs like marijuana and MDMA.

Japanese actress Erika Sawajiri pleaded guilty Friday to possession of the illegal drugs MDMA and LSD in the first hearing of her trial at the Tokyo District Court, with prosecutors seeking an 18-month prison term. Defense lawyers asked for a suspended sentence for the 33-year-old, who was arrested in November over drug possession at her home in Tokyo. The court is due to hand down a ruling next Thursday.

According to the indictment, Sawajiri was in possession of 0.19 grams of powder containing MDMA, 0.6 grams of liquid containing LSD, and a 0.08-gram piece of paper laced with LSD at her home in Tokyo on Nov. 16. She has also admitted to using marijuana, LSD, cocaine and MDMA, according to investigative sources.

Yeah, this is expected since it’s Japan, but I can’t find myself getting worked up over drug use at least in terms of punishing the individual via prison. It seems like she would benefit far more from rehabilitation and treatment of some sort, especially if it’s true she’s abused drugs for over a decade.

Thankfully, it does appear she’s currently getting treatment.

Sawajiri was released on 5 million yen ($46,000) bail in December. Her management company said she has been in a medical facility for treatment.

Continuing that would be better than prison, obviously.

Also of note is that she said she has no plans to return to acting.

“I don’t plan to return as an actress,” Sawajiri said after offering an apology. Her arrest shocked the entertainment industry and led to a delay in the start of a yearlong period drama series in which she was scheduled to appear.

It’s honestly a shame how this has all turned out if this is really the end of her career.


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