Fri, Dec 30, 2011 - Page 14 News List

Pop Stop

Compiled by Noah Buchan  /  Staff Reporter

Benny Chan is having difficulty keeping his word.

Photo: Taipei Times

Is Viann Zhang (張馨予) an absentminded person, or a crafty starlet staking out her territory so as to boost her career in the entertainment business? These two narratives — the former espoused by Zhang, the latter by pretty much everyone else — have been fodder for gossip rags and the blogosphere after the busty 24-year-old Chinese model and actress posted an intimate photo of herself on the microblog of Hong Kong actor Ron Ng (吳卓羲) a few weeks back.

The United Daily News and the Oriental Daily reported that angry Netizens have kept up a barrage of attacks on Zhang, who has only played minor roles in movies over the past year, claiming that the post was a stunt to garner attention. Zhang said she didn’t intend to create a furor.

Ng came to her defense, and said he believed Zhang had “mistakenly” posted the photo on his blog while he was partying it up at a karaoke bar with, ironically enough, Hong Kong actor Raymond Lam (林?). Pop Stop readers will recall how Lam became material for gossip rags in April when his then girlfriend, Chinese model Mavis Pan (潘霜霜), leaked photos showing the pair together in bed — a ruse according to media reports to improve Pan’s waning popularity. If it was a ploy to gain attention, it didn’t work, and Pan eventually broke up with Lam because she found racy photos of him with other women on his mobile phone.

The coincidence wasn’t lost on some members of the media, who speculated that Ng was in the process of dumping Zhang. Was she pulling a Pan?

“I’m totally unfamiliar with her,” Zhang said.

Ng, for his part, has kept his mouth zipped shut by refusing to comment on whether or not they are still a couple. He said he had spoken to Zhang and that she had “learned her lesson.”

But salacious photos of a naked Zhang and an ex-boyfriend soon appeared online, confirming for many that she’ll do anything to gain attention. Adding fuel to the fire, Xinhuanet (新華網) reported that Zhang had once been married to a wealthy Chinese businessman, but later divorced him to date a film director so she could land plum roles. Zhang called the rumors ridiculous.

The spectacle reached a denouement over the weekend, when Netizens cursed one of Zhang’s friends for defending her in an online post. “Give my friends a chance to have a nice Christmas, OK?” Zhang said.

Higher up on the celebrity food chain, Jolin Tsai (蔡依林) is experiencing her own photo issues, reported NOWnews. At a music awards ceremony, she told the assembled media that she didn’t mind gossip hounds following her and boyfriend Vivian Dawson (錦榮), but asked them to “please print better looking photos.”

In other showbiz news, some celebrities got into the Christmas spirit by giving to charity. The China Times reported that Taiwanese singer-actor Jerry Yan (言承旭) celebrated the completion of a hostel for low-income students built with his own funds and those donated by his fans. Meanwhile, Selina Jen (任家萱) auctioned off 50 signed copies of her recently released album, Dream a New Dream (重作一個夢), with the proceeds going to burn victims.

Other celebrities, however, were not so generous. The United Daily News reported that Hong Kong actor Benny Chan (陳浩民) has yet to fulfill a promise he made to donate to charity after he was accused of sexually harassing 19-year-old actress Rose Chan (陳嘉桓) .

In addition to blubbing apologies at a press conference and publishing mea culpas in newspapers in Hong Kong and China, Benny Chan promised to donate money to the End Child Sexual Abuse Foundation (護苗基金). However, actress Josephine Siao (蕭芳芳), who established the foundation in 1998, said at an event on Friday last week that he had yet to make good on his pledge.

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