Cornelius denies bullying incident that resulted in resignation from Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony

The composer has issued a new statement to "clarify the facts"

Cornelius, the composer who resigned from the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic Games over past bullying allegations, has issued a new statement denying such claims.

The composer, real name Keigo Oyamada, was working on the music for the ceremony but resigned in advance after he came under fire for resurfaced reports of bullying classmates during childhood, including those with disabilities.

Following his resignation, he issued a statement on social media saying: “I sincerely accept the opinions and advice I have received, express my gratitude, and will keep them in mind for my future actions and thoughts and I apologise from the bottom of my heart.”

Writing on his website, Oyamada added: “We sincerely apologise for making many people feel very uncomfortable about my participation in music production at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games… I am deeply sorry for my classmates and their parents who have been hurt by my remarks and actions, and in school life, which is supposed to make fun memories, I did not become a good friend, but rather I was in a position to hurt.

“I feel deep regret and responsibility. When I was a student and at the time of the interview, I think I was a very immature person who could not imagine the feelings of the victims.”

But now he has shared a new statement on his Instagram page to “clarify the facts” and he denies bullying his classmates, and claims that both interviews with Rockin’ On Japan in 1994 and Quick Japan in 1995 had “factual inaccuracies”.

On the former interview, he wrote: “I spoke of such things during the interview but the magazine that was published had misleading headlines mentioned that I had violated a classmate.

“Since I could not check the manuscript for Rockin’ On in advance, it was only after the release of the publication that I saw the article. I was shocked with the factual inaccuracies, but at that time I did not have the maturity to realise that I should correct them. In hindsight, I regret that I did not set the record straight directly with Rockin’ On.”

Addressing the latter interview, Oyamada added: “I had agreed to an interview with Quick Japan (Aug. 1995 issue) with bullying as the theme, as I had felt that I wanted to correct the misinformation. The publisher’s plan and intention of using bullying as the main subject of the article, to my current understanding, is unethical and lacking consideration for the feelings of the victims and people that were in the same position. However, at the time, I did not think about this and did the interview and explained what I had witnessed as a child.”

He continued: “After the publication of the two magazines, a blog post was edited to make it seem as if I were the perpetrator of the gruesome acts of violence and was published. This false information spread through various forums and social media and is now used as a source for most publications, even though the interview with Quick Japan clearly states that the violent acts were not committed by me.”

Cornelius also apologised in his statement, writing: “I believe that it is my own fault for not taking appropriate actions in explaining or correcting the false information about me that has been circulating over the internet for nearly 20 years. As a result, I believe I have caused secondary damage to my classmates, their families and those who had the same experience, and I am truly sorry.

NME has reached out to a spokesperson for Cornelius for comment.