DOA producer slapped with sex suit
Female coworker reportedly claims Tomonobu Itagaki made repeated unwanted advances--and that Tecmo didn't do enough to stop it.
A woman who worked with Tomonobu Itagaki is claiming that the Tecmo developer's fixation on females extends well beyond the virtual world of the Dead or Alive Xtreme series.
Japanese site Zakzak is reporting that a female former coworker of Itagaki's is suing him for sexual harassment for a number of events dating back to September, 2003. The woman claims that after wining and dining Tecmo business associates one night, she and Itagaki shared a cab ride home since they lived in the same direction. Once in the vehicle, she says Itagaki groped her and forcibly kissed her, adding he "even stuck his tongue in [her] mouth." She says he continued his advances after exiting the cab.
Following that cab ride, she says Itagaki locked her in a conference room on several occasions and made unwanted sexual advances, according to Zakzak. The article also cites incidents at a "game industry convention in the US in May of last year," likely referring to the Electronic Entertainment Expo.
The woman says that Tecmo mishandled the situation when she complained about Itagaki's behavior, telling her to handle it herself. When a new personnel manager was appointed she brought the issue up again, and Itagaki was demoted from an executive position to a regular employee, though his role in the company remained unchanged and no reason was given for the demotion.
Zakzak reports that Itagaki has admitted to kissing the woman, but said it was a mutual relationship. She is seeking 10,000,000 yen (almost $85,000) in damages. As of press time, attempts to contact Tecmo for comment had been unsuccessful.