Sun, Aug 19, 2012 - Page 1 News List

Model breaks down amid fugitive socialite scandal

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

Wanted socialite Justin Lee’s girlfriend Joyce Lai, who is a convicted drug dealer, hides her face as plainclothes officers lead her out of the Taipei Railway Station yesterday.

Photo: Li Chung-hsien, Taipei Times

Amid a media frenzy over the scandal involving socialite Justin Lee (李宗瑞), who is wanted by prosecutors for allegedly drugging and raping a woman and secretly filming bedroom trysts with a number of women, one of the alleged victims, model Maggie Wu (吳亞馨), yesterday canceled a scheduled press conference at the last minute due to an emotional breakdown.

Democratic Progressive Party Taipei City Councilor Hsu Shu-hua (許淑華), who was to accompany Wu to explain her alleged involvement in the scandal, said Wu and her mother had originally planned to come out to urge the public to stop spreading the explicit photographs and videos filmed by Lee, but canceled the press conference hours before the event due to mounting stress.

“The circulation of those sex photographs and videos has put Wu and her family under great pressure, and she has been emotionally unstable … She is also a victim in the incident and we urge the public not to spread those photographs and hurt the victims again,” she said.

Hsu said Wu and her family had wanted to clarify the matter via a press conference scheduled for yesterday morning, but her agency canceled the press conference at the last minute because Wu said she was unable to face the press after the news about the press conference drew great public attention.

Wu, a Taiwanese model, is reportedly an ex-girlfriend of Lee.

Prosecutors on Aug. 1 issued a wanted notice for Lee.

The case first opened in July last year, when twin sisters accused Lee of drugging and raping the elder sister, and filming the entire process.

It drew attention recently as the investigation found that there could be more than 40 victims in the case, reportedly involving showbiz performers, models and A-list actresses.

The scandal sparked a media frenzy because Lee, son of Yuanta Financial Holding Co (元大金控) board member Lee Yueh-tsang (李岳蒼), is well-known because of his rich family. He was often seen coming and going from fashion-industry parties and nightclubs. Lee Yueh-tsang on Monday resigned from Yuanta Financial Holding Co, reportedly because of the scandal.

While Justin Lee is still on the run, the photographs and videos he filmed have been circulating on the Internet.

Hsu yesterday declined to comment on Wu’s alleged relationship with Justin Lee, while urging prosecutors and police to stop the illegal circulation of the photographs and find Justin Lee.

“Spreading the photographs and videos will not help the case. It will only cause more harm to the victims. What we should be focusing on is the whereabouts of Justin Lee and his illegal acts,” she said.

Deputy director of Taipei City’s Criminal Investigation Division Tan Szu-huai (唐斯淮) said the division had formed a task force to look into the illegal dissemination of the photographs and videos online and would bring Wu in for questioning about the case.

On Friday evening, the investigation task force arrested Joyce Lai (賴慕禎), who claimed to be Lee’s current girlfriend, and her sister in Greater Tainan’s Sinying District (新營) in a bid to find out Justin Lee’s whereabouts and to verify allegations that Lai has been harboring the wanted sex assault suspect.

However, in a further twist to the case, Lai was later identified during the questioning as a wanted drug dealer, who was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison in 2009, but failed to report to prison in September last year.

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