Fri, Mar 13, 2009 - Page 14 News List

POP STOP

By Catherine Shu  /  AP , HONG KONG

VIEW THIS PAGE Edison Chen (陳冠希) has been threatened with a letter containing a bullet, a Hong Kong television station reported yesterday.

For anyone who has been hiding under a rock or living in a cave for the past year, the Edison Chen photo scandal broke in January 2008 when nude snapshots of the Chinese-Canadian actor in flagrante delicto with eight female starlets — including Gillian Chung (鍾欣桐), Cecilia Cheung (張柏芝) and Bobo Chen (陳文媛) — were stolen off of his laptop and subsequently plastered all over gossip rags and entertainment blogs.

Hong Kong’s Cable TV said an anonymous English-language letter warned Chen not to appear at any promotional events and threatened him with harm if he did. The station said it received the letter on Wednesday.

Hong Kong’s entertainment industry has long been tainted by its connections with organized crime, and last year gangsters were allegedly offering HK$500,000 for one of Chen’s hands.

The TV report yesterday did not say if the letter, which was mailed with a gold-colored bullet, explicitly linked the threat with the sex photo scandal, and did not specify the type of harm Chen could suffer if he ignored it.

The envelope that carried the letter had US postage stamps stuck onto it and the return address was in Pennsylvania, Cable TV said.

Chen and the women featured in his homemade porno stash have only recently started to resurface. The 28-year-old testified two weeks ago against a computer technician accused of stealing the photos from his laptop, and he attended a promotional event at a Singapore hamburger restaurant later that week. Gillian Chung and Cecilia Cheung, who are also 28, have discussed the scandal in television interviews in recent weeks.

In a tearful interview with iCable earlier this month, Cheung raged at Chen for not personally apologizing to her after the photos were leaked, even as he made a somber public mea culpa to his fans. Chen stated last month in a court hearing in Vancouver that he had been determined to protect the women’s privacy, but Cheung said he hadn’t even bothered to call her manager back at the height of the scandal.

Not to be outdone, Chung also gave a tearful interview, which was aired shortly after Cheung’s. The blubbering Chung said she blamed herself for her “stupidity” and lamented the very public loss of her dignity. Chung also revealed that she had contemplated suicide after the photos were leaked. The scandal blew apart the starlet’s squeaky-clean image as one-half of the Cantopop duo Twins.

On Tuesday, Chung appeared at a press conference to promote a jeans brand, her first endorsement deal since Chen’s privates became public. The Canto-pop star wore a purple T-shirt that said “tough” and unveiled a billboard ad that showed her with a serious expression, surrounded by models wearing monster masks.

“This was a very long year. It was very hard to get through. I was lucky to have many people who supported me,” she said.

Also bemoaning the loss of his dignity this week was Taiwanese actor Jonathan Chen (陳俊生), who was photographed fighting with his 19-year-old girlfriend in Taipei. Highlights included Chen screaming, “That is not a real apology! I’m not going to accept that! I want a real apology!” and his girlfriend accidentally smacking him in the nose when she reached out to placate him before collapsing to the ground in tears.

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