Jay Chou (周杰倫), the king of Mando-pop, is not known for keeping the peace with the paparazzi. But since last week, the occasional brawls and bickering between the two reached a new apogee after the Apple Daily caught Chou and his teenage sweetheart Hannah Quinlivan (昆淩) on an outing.
The latest Jay Chou-vs-paparazzi battle began on Thursday last week when an intrepid journo from the pomaceous gossipmonger reportedly drove home to Yilan on his day off. But when the off-duty reporter caught sight of the star’s vehicle, he immediately followed it and called the paper’s Taipei headquarters for backup.
Soon The Chairman and his entourage arrived at a teppanyaki restaurant in Luodong (羅東). Accompanying Chou was his mother and a retinue of some 20 buddies.
Chou and Quinlivan enjoyed a tender moment over dinner, blissfully unaware that they would later star in an episode of News-in-Motion (動新聞) in which an off-screen narrator gleefully reminds Chou of a bet he made in November last year.
To refresh readers’ memories, the star promised back then that if the Apple Daily managed to obtain full frontal shots (not in the pornographic sense) of him and Quinlivan together, he would grant an exclusive interview, but if it failed to do so within one year, the newspaper should change its name to the Orange Daily (橘子日報).
But the story doesn’t end there. When the “multi-talented” (actor, singer, musician, producer, director and restaurateur) Chou finally realized he was being trailed and filmed by reporters, the dinner was already over, and the star erupted.
He walked toward one reporter, started videotaping him with his cellphone and slapped the paparazzo’s hand as he tried to dodge Chou’s lens.
The journo protested by saying “this is so unnecessary, Jay Chou.” The hothead shouted back: “You are not allowed to call me by my full name” (我的全名不是你叫的啦).
Things took a more violent turn when one of Chou’s escorts cornered the same reporter, claiming he hit one of The Chairman’s party in the face with his camera. The huffy star immediately rushed back to the scene, grabbed another reporter, and amid the chaos reportedly slapped his head.
Chou then hopped in his car and got out of Dodge.
Apparently the star still had anger to vent. An episode of News-in-Freeze (凍新聞), a spoof of News-in-Motion made by one of Chou’s gang, was uploaded to YouTube on Saturday.
Dubbed in Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese) by Chou’s 50-year-old friend and hairdresser Tu Kuo-chang (杜國璋), the video called the reporters “dog,” “monkey” and “horse face” and pointed out that back in the old days, people who dared to call the emperor by his full name would be “beheaded.”
At a press conference held on Monday, Chou stressed that it was the reporters following him who provoked the conflict, and thus his violent outburst was merely an act of self-defense.
He also said that he thought Tu’s video was “funny” and compared himself to Batman, only his nemesis is the gouzaidui (狗仔隊, pack of puppies), as the paparazzi are collectively known.
As the gouzaidui’s most outspoken opponent, Chou should also know that his words will come back to bite him in the derriere in no time.
In response, the Apple Daily reviewed the incident in detail, and claimed that its reporters refrained from getting aggressive. The paper invited Chou and his cronies to challenge the evidence.