Japanese pop star NORIKO SAKAI has been handed an 18-month suspended jail term after she was convicted of illegal drug use.
The singer caused a media storm when she disappeared with her 10-year-old son in August (09), shortly after her husband Yuichi Takaso, 41, was detained for drug possession.
Sakai, 38, turned herself into police a week later and was charged with possessing and taking illegal stimulants after investigators found a quantity of methamphetamines at the apartment she shares with Takaso.
She appeared in court last month (26Oct09) and pleaded guilty to both charges.
And when Sakai returned to the Tokyo District Court on Monday (09Nov09), the judge handed her an 18-month jail term, but suspended the sentence for three years, meaning she will retain her freedom as long as she stays out of trouble.
After handing down the ruling, Judge Hiroaki Murayama told the actress, "I imagine that as a longtime entertainer, you have played roles in many dramas and films, but regrettably, this case is a fact. Your life from now onwards is extremely important. Take care not to forget this."
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