By on July 3, 2015

Julie Hamp Not In BlackResigned Toyota PR chief Julie Hamp was named to PR Week’s “Power List” two weeks after being busted for allegedly importing illegal prescription painkillers into Japan last month. Hamp allegedly received 57 pills of Oxycodone in a box labeled “necklaces” at Narita Airport in Tokyo.

The list, which ranks her No. 10, was released the same day Hamp resigned her position and included an editor’s note at the top explaining the awkward timing.

The author of Hamp’s listing, Senior Vice President of Global Communications for General Motors Tony Cervone, noted Hamp’s ascendance as a woman in a field typically dominated by men:

“Julie understands the need for consistency, but allows it to be expressed naturally and authentically, with special sensitivity to cultural nuances. She understands discipline, but doesn’t drive bureaucracy. In short, Julie provides a great balance. And she fully deserves to be “the first” in so many ways.”

Hamp is reportedly in jail awaiting charges in Japan. According to the Wall Street Journal, her trial in Japan could last anywhere from six months to a year, if it even goes that far.

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23 Comments on “Julie Hamp No. 10 in PR Week’s “Power List”, No. 1 in Badly Timed Awards...”

  • avatar

    I havne’t been following this at all, but I can’t help wondering what she was thinking. She had a great job, she’s beautiful, and so presumably she had a great future… Those crazy H sapiens!

    • 0 avatar

      Read somewhere, maybe the Boston Globe recently, don’t know if it’s true, but something on the order of 80% of opiate addictions begin with a painkiller prescription for a legitimate purpose. If so, a likely cause here. Very sad.

      • 0 avatar

        Correct. The crackdown on pill-mills has also caused a steep increase in heroin addiction as users look for opiate alternatives.

        Since there seems to be no evidence that she intended to profit from these pills, the only thing she is guilty of is an addiction to pain meds. She needs help not criminal prosecution.

    • 0 avatar

      As far as I can tell, 57 pills isn’t much. For someone with a prescription, that would be used up in less than a week.

      And if she was a junkie, then she should be suffering from severe withdrawal symptoms unless she is part of a medically-supervised withdrawal program. If she isn’t getting medical treatment while she sits in jail, then that should make you question this story.

      • 0 avatar

        So if she’s going through severe withdrawal the story didn’t happen?

        • 0 avatar

          If someone who is supposed to be an addict doesn’t show any signs of addiction, then yes, I would be wary of any story that implicates them as a drug user.

        • 0 avatar

          There have been stories on this topic that explained that Japanese laws are such that even those with legit prescriptions and having medication shipped in can be nailed to the wall.

          Not a defense – as a PR professional you would think she would have a pretty good understanding of the customs, rules, and laws of her new home.

      • 0 avatar

        I have no idea what the Japanese criminal justice system is like, but I can well imagine an addict sitting in an American prison, undergoing terrible withdrawal because they are not being treated for the addiction.

        • 0 avatar

          I would presume that a prisoner in the US who is very ill would be sent to an infirmary.

          If she isn’t in one, then you should ask yourself why she isn’t. Or more to the point, the journalists should be asking.

          • 0 avatar

            You’re manufacturing intrigue where there is none. She was caught bringing pills in by labeling them as jewelry and surrounding them with jewelry. She broke the law and was arrested. Even if she has a prescription in the US, she didn’t go about trying to bring the pills to Japan in a way that can be interpreted as innocent.

          • 0 avatar

            There’s no intrigue. Junkies experience withdrawal symptoms. Where are hers?

            It’s surprising that someone like yourself who supposedly lovvvvvves the US constitution doesn’t grasp the whole innocence-until-proven-guilty concept.

          • 0 avatar

            Who said she is a junky? She got arrested for improperly importing pills. Why she was doing it is completely irrelevant.

          • 0 avatar

            “It’s surprising that someone like yourself… doesn’t grasp the whole innocence-until-proven-guilty concept.”


            Now there was a round right up the Tiger tank’s arschloch!

          • 0 avatar

            The cops theorize that she had pills for her personal use.

            If she doesn’t exhibit symptoms of that alleged personal use, then that would undermine that argument, obviously.

          • 0 avatar

            You’re deranged. She was caught bringing pills into Japan. This isn’t a whodunit. Addiction isn’t what she is charged with. She isn’t being prosecuted in the US. People that want US constitutional protections should put more value on being in the US.

          • 0 avatar

            @pch101 That is a presumption that is contradicted by fact time after time.

            Withdrawal per se is not considered a serious illness, especially by penal authorities. Perhaps if they recognize in time that there is a lifethreatening destabilazation of vital signs, there might be a trip to the hospital.

            But mostly such addicts are left to suffer until they are past the severe stages of withdrawal.

            I have encountered more than one individual in my work with people in recovery, who said that they got nothing except perhaps a hosedown to clean them up, every few hours.

            Reminds me of how the mentally ill were treated in Bethlehem Asylum a few centuries ago.

            Treatment is needed…punishment is given, much of it extrajudicially mandated.

            There are none so blind as those who will not see…

      • 0 avatar

        It’s not many pills, but is this her only source? Sounds like a friend’s leftover pills. She could be more gangster than she looks and we know, scoring bucket loads over the years. Did she just get careless?

        My junkie friend gets pills in small handfuls, when and where he can. He got really sick suddenly, went broke, no health plan and owns rental property, his only small source of income.

    • 0 avatar

      You have to be careful with transporting Oxy/OC even along the US-Canadian border. If you’re caught without a prescription you can be charged with possession and smuggling of drugs.

      Recently, Canadian Hockey Player, Mike Richards, was also caught with OC along the US-Canadian border and detained.

      In the US, a Canadian was also sentenced to 4 years in prison for importing 23 pills of OC.

      As its a potential needle drug, though its mostly snorted, countries take it seriously. Even after the fact, if she could provide a prescription I don’t think this would have been much an issue.

  • avatar

    A little over a hundred years ago, Americans – and Japanese – adults could buy whatever they wanted. Most were fine – they did things like – invent airplanes. Some became addicted, and didn’t do fine. Life went on. Now, fortunes are spent, and made, with all those involved with addictive substances – and about the same percentage of people run into trouble with addictions, and the rest do not.

  • avatar

    Julie clearly didn’t get the memo that you’re only supposed to stick to nicotine and caffeine. Maybe manufacturing only dips?

    I can’t imagine it would be overly professional spitting into a spittoon during a board of directors meeting. My last manufacturing director thought my (legal) substance abuse was hilarious.

  • avatar

    The only straightforward explanation of all this has been on Daily Kanban. Narita Airport is only peripherally involved.

    • 0 avatar

      OK, seriously. That guy isn’t a good source, unless you think that an analyst can be 300% accurate.

      It’s not going to be straightforward by default because she and the cops are making contradictory claims. One or all of them may be mistaken and/or lying.

  • avatar

    Chances are really good that she had legal prescriptions for some kind of real medical need, and that led to a dependance. Then comes the doctor shopping to get multiple prescriptions which is illegal. How many pills a day did she take, how long and what strength all matter in how much w/d she will experience. For most, that w/d is like a flu to end all flus. Severe chills, diarrhea, achy legs and muscles, insomnia, headaches and a general malaise that will persist for 8 to 10 days. That will be what she deals with if she has a cold turkey experience. Not particularly pleasant. Nor uncommon. Vicodin and Oxy are one of the most widely prescribed meds there are. Because of this problem, the rules are changing. For example, NYS now requires docs to check the iSTOP database before cutting a script and the pharmacy is required to check it to see if the script is legit and there are not multiple docs. This way you can get the drugs when needed but have checks in place to prevent abuse.

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