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Yuzuru Hanyu announces divorce, cites media harassment

Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu attends a press conference in Tokyo on July 19, 2022

FILE–Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu attends a press conference in Tokyo on July 19, 2022. (Photo by Philip FONG / AFP)

Retired Japanese figure skating star Yuzuru Hanyu has announced his divorce from his wife, three months after he publicized the union, blaming it on media “stalking” and harassing the ex-couple.

Hanyu, a national icon in Japan and two-time Olympic figure skating champion, said on X, formerly Twitter, late Friday that “suspicious” people had visited his home and reporters had invaded his privacy since he announced his marriage in early August.

“Currently, various media outlets are slandering, stalking, and conducting unauthorized interviews and reports about my partner,” who is not a celebrity, as well as members of their families, he said in a statement.

Hanyu, who is known as Japan’s “Ice Prince,”  said his partner had supported him, “even though she couldn’t take one step out of the house”.

“It was extremely difficult to protect my partner and myself in these circumstances and I found it unbearable,” he added.

Ultimately, he said he had decided to divorce so that his partner could “be happy with no restrictions.”

He has not revealed his ex-wife’s identity.

Hanyu retired from competition in July last year and now performs at professional skating shows.

The soft-spoken 28-year-old became the first man to win back-to-back Olympic champions in 66 years at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games.

He was followed throughout his career by a legion of “Fanyu” supporters, who showered the ice with Winnie the Pooh toys after his routines in tribute to the Pooh tissue box cover he carried to the rink with him.

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