Fri, Jan 09, 2009 - Page 14 News List

POP STOP

By David Chen  /  STAFF REPORTER

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A topless Zhang Ziyi (章子怡) has been warming up winter for the blogosphere, as paparazzi snapped up shots of the Chinese actress and her fiance, Israeli venture capitalist Aviv “Vivi” Nevo, frolicking on the Caribbean island of St Barts.

A collection of 80 photos, taken while the pair were on vacation earlier this month, has been posted on various Web sites, a few of which have received server-crashing traffic, according to the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper).

The couple’s frisky beachside manner had blogging tongues wagging the most. Nevo was photographed giving the 29-year-old starlet’s tush a robust squeeze as she lay sunbathing. In another shot, he nuzzles her squarely where the sun don’t shine (not even on this tropical island). The Apple Daily noted the shocked reactions on the Internet to this “butt biting.”

Others in the Chinese-language press dutifully regurgitated the posted blog comments, which included remarks to the effect of “get a room,” “disgusting foreigner,” “oh my, they’re not even married,” and “what a disgrace to the Chinese people.” Apple’s assessment combined concern for Zhang’s “future happiness,” given Nevo’s past as a playboy, with bewilderment: “For famous foreigners, sunbathing topless is no big deal at such a locale, but [Zhang] and Aviv’s overly brazen display of passion would have even Hollywood celebrities admitting defeat.”

The saga of the troubled marriage between actress Annie Yi (伊能靜) and singer Harlem Yu (庾澄慶) has taken yet another twist. While their marriage has reportedly been on the mend, Next magazine has stirred things up again, reporting that Yi had been seeing Chen Chia-chun (陳嘉鈞) before her reported affair with Laurence Huang (黃維德).

According to Next, Chen, the younger brother of a prominent newscaster and former boyfriend of Little Pan-pan (小潘潘), was so distraught after reports of Yi’s affair with Huang that he went on a drinking binge. When confronted by reporters, Chen denied that he was drowning his sorrows over the affair, but expressed his “appreciation” for “this caring female friend.”

Who’s number one? The question has spawned the latest “war of words” in the Mando-pop world, as Little Pig (小豬) claims to have bested Wang Lee-hom (王力宏) for the top spot in G-music’s sales charts for the final week of December. Both Little Pig, also known as Alan Luo (羅志祥), and Wang have just released new albums. When asked how he felt about beating Wang, Little Pig said “I can only make comparisons with myself,” reported the Liberty Times.

But Wang’s label, Sony, doubted the accuracy of the charts. A company representative offered a sore response, implying that Little Pig’s label, Gold Typhoon (金牌大風) rigged the charts: “Everyone in record industry knows that whenever major artists from a certain well-known label come out with a new release, they come up with ways to make sure they are the top sellers.” Wang chimed in, saying that “there’s not enough credibility to the charts, they don’t really matter.”

Gold Typhoon, shot back with more numbers: number one in mobile phone ring tones and nine other sales charts and an average of 5,000 copies sold at autograph signing events. “We’ll continue to work hard — not make excuses,” said a company representative. Now, now, there’s enough room for both of you, said the Liberty Times report, which commented that the real praise should go to the two stars for their charity work.

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