NYC's 'Mayor of Little Tokyo' accused of sexually assaulting company exec in bombshell $95M lawsuit

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Slant Eyes

Jul 15, 2022, 3:58:49 PMJul 15
The Big Apple’s unofficial “mayor of Little Tokyo” has been accused in a
new $95 million lawsuit of sexually assaulting an executive at his company
following a night on the town with other employees, The Post has learned.

Nozomi Horikoshi, the vice president of operations at T.I.C. Restaurant
Group, claims her boss Shuji Bon Yagi had sex with her while she was
passed out and couldn’t consent after going out drinking with other co-
workers on Dec. 10, according to her Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit filed

“I woke up at his apartment and I wasn’t wearing anything,” the 51-year-
old married mom told The Post. “I realized I was naked from the waist down
… that was so embarrassing.”

“I was like what happened? I have to go home. I knew that something
happened already,” she continued. “There was a feeling of shame.”

Yagi, 73, owns around a dozen restaurants in Manhattan — many of them
clustered in an area of the East Village on Ninth and Tenth Streets dubbed
Japantown or “Little Tokyo” — and has been called the “mayor” of the
neighborhood in The New York Times and other publications.

Horikoshi, who has worked for the well-known restaurateur for close to a
decade, said he invited himself to celebrate the birthday of another
female colleague “knowing that his wife was in Japan throughout the
weekend,” her filing claims.

After the birthday girl left to meet up with others, Yagi, Horikoshi and
another woman co-worker went to a bar and then a karaoke spot for more
drinks, the suit says.

That colleague, “who was quite drunk,” went home, and Horikoshi said she
met up with the woman celebrating her birthday again before Yagi whisked
her off to another bar, the court papers allege.

Some time after 2 a.m., Horikoshi claims her boss ushered her into a cab
and started grabbing, touching and trying to kiss her while she was very
inebriated, the suit alleges.

Horikoshi “tried to push Yagi off her and told him to stop, but due to her
level of intoxication, plaintiff eventually lost consciousness inside the
taxi,” the filing alleges.

Instead of taking her home, Yagi allegedly took her straight to his West
58th Street apartment, the suit claims, citing GPS information from
Horikoshi’s cell phone.

Horikoshi eventually woke up naked from the waist down with her boss
laying on top of her, the suit alleges.

She took a cab home but felt she had “been penetrated” and had a bruise on
the back of her head, the court documents allege.

When Horikoshi attempted to confront Yagi later that day, he “abruptly
ended their phone conversation,” the suit claims.

Then in January, the filing alleges Horikoshi recorded Yagi as she again
confronted him about what happened that night.

Yagi told her that he had been interested in her from the first time he
met her — and that he perceived her coming with him to the bar as an
indication that she wanted him too, Horikoshi and the suit claim.

“I have been working there for nine years and the more I talk to him, I
start feeling lost,” Horikoshi said of the aftermath of the conversation.
“I trusted him. I totally lost the trust. I felt deceived … I felt like he
was looking down on me, like I was invisible.”

Yagi said he believed there was “mutual sexual consent, and that if
plaintiff could not consent he had made a mistake,” the filing alleges.

He also allegedly told the Queens mom that “some people” would find his
“behavior” toward her “acceptable due his role as [her] boss,” the suit

Horikoshi said that her husband also worked in the company and that the
alleged incident caused “chaos” at home.

She continued to work there but said she had been marginalized at the
office and that Yagi no longer speaks to her, according to her suit.

“I want to move forward so he can understand my feeling that he hurt me
and my family too,” she said.

She is suing Yagi and his company TIC Akean for $95 million.

An attorney for Yagi vehemently denied the allegations, saying the lawsuit
was a cash grab.

“The undisputed facts are that Nozomi got black out drunk, fell on a
sidewalk and smashed her head, and texted a friend the next day that she
had no recollection of even being in Yagi’s apartment,” Louis Pechman said
in a statement. “Now she wants 300 million dollars, claiming that a man
who had his prostrate removed has raped her. There was never any sexual
assault. Full stop.”

Horikoshi’s attorney Christoper Brennan said his client’s suit was about
“power and accountability” for Yagi, a high-profile businessman who has
been credited for influencing Japanese cuisine in New York.

“Mr. Bon Yagi assumed that because he was Ms. Horikoshi’s boss and a
prominent local business person, he was permitted to betray Ms.
Horikoshi’s trust and violate her sexually, as described in the complaint
filed today,” Brennan said in a statement. “Mr. Yagi underestimated Ms.
Horikoshi’s strength of character and her willingness to take the steps
necessary to hold Mr. Bon Yagi accountable for his actions.”

Kenny B
2 days ago

When both the man and the woman are fully intoxicated and neither is in
their senses. If they do end up having sex why is the man considered the
aggressor and the woman as the victim? It could be other way around as
well. A woman can also take full advantage of a fully wasted man.

It is not a good idea to go to drinking with colleagues such late into the

Jesse Smith
2 days ago

Not a penny to this woman. It's not like he gave her a date rape drug or
she was too young to know better. She was a 51 year old married woman who
went barhopping with someone until 2 am. He told her he thought she
consented. He was probably intoxicated, too. Women have to be
responsible for their own behavior.
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