$77m silver lining from Osaka furore

You would presume Naomi Osaka’s dramatic exit damaged her relationship with her corporate sponsors — but that may not be the case.

As revealed by Forbes, Osaka will be announced as the world’s 12th highest-paid athlete this week, pocketing AUD$77.5 million over the past 12 months.

The Japanese phenom’s number of endorsement partners has swelled to 20 over the past year, with Google and Louis Vuitton among the recent additions.

But according to Forbes, her controversial media boycott will not cause friction with her backers — quite the opposite.

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Nike issued a statement after her Roland Garros exit: “Our thoughts are with Naomi. We support her and recognise her courage in sharing her own mental health experience.”

GoDaddy, Hyperice, Levi’s, Nissan, Nissin Foods and TAG Heuer offered similar emailed statements, while Sweetgreen, MasterCard and Beats Electronics stood with the four-time grand slam champion on social media.

Despite copping some criticism on social media, Osaka’s rapid rise looks destined to continue.

Naomi Osaka at her LA home. Picture: naomiosaka/InstagramSource:Instagram

Following her stunning decision to back out of the French Open to focus on her mental health, Osaka will return home where she can now rest easy in her AUD$9 million Beverly Hills pad.

The 23-year-old tennis star first purchased the home in 2019 after defeating fellow great Serena Williams in a shocking upset in the 2018 US Open and was crowned the champion of the tournament.

She later went on to win the Australian Open, making her the first woman to win consecutive grand slam singles titles since Williams in 2015.

In the past year alone, the Japanese star racked up nearly AUD$49 million from prize money and endorsements, making her the highest-paid female athlete in history, according to Forbes.

The three-bedroom, four-bathroom architectural haven was bought in an off-market deal from Nick Jonas, who purchased the property shortly prior to his engagement to Priyanka Chopra in 2018.

Located high in the mountains above Beverly Hills, in the corner of the LA neighbourhood known as Beverly Hills Post Office, the property spans over 4100 square feet and is situated on a half-acre lot.

Elevated ceilings and clerestory windows allow for an abundance of light throughout the home, according to the listing.

A Miele chefs kitchen features a wine refrigerator and built-in espresso machine, while the master bathroom is highlighted with a freestanding Agape Spoon tub.

Other amenities include a floating guesthouse and a terrace which surrounds an infinity pool to create a private courtyard experience.

Osaka’s Beverly Hills home.Source:BackGrid

Osaka bought the property from pop star Nick Jonas in 2019.Source:BackGrid

The initial structure was built in 1965, but was completely overhauled in 2015 by LA night-life entrepreneur Jason Lev, who — with the help of architecture firm SPACE International and the design team at Ground Up LA — transformed the structure into a cunningly minimalist home inspired by mid-century modern design.

Following the controversy over Osaka’s refusal to speak to the media at the tournament, the star returned to the home in which she lives with her boyfriend of two years, rapper Cordae Amari Dunston.

Osaka, who was born in Japan but raised in New York and holds dual citizenship, took to Instagram on Monday to explain her decision to withdraw from the tournament in a statement.

“The truth is that I have suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that,” she stated.

“Though the tennis press has always been kind to me … I am not a natural public speaker and get huge waves of anxiety before I speak to the world’s media.

“So here in Paris I was already feeling vulnerable and anxious, so I thought it was better to exercise self-care and skip the press conferences. I announced it pre-emptively because I do feel like the rules are quite outdated in parts and I wanted to highlight that.”

Osaka then explained that she would take “some time away from the court” until the “time is right.”

Naomi Osaka at her LA home.Source:Instagram

Picture: naomiosaka/InstagramSource:Instagram

— with the New York Post

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