Sat, Aug 30, 2014 - Page 1 News List

Kai Ko sobs, says sorry after release in Beijing

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwanese actor and pop idol Kai Ko cries during a press conference in Beijing yesterday as he apologizes for smoking cannabis.

Photo: China News Service, via CNA

Taiwanese actor Kai Ko (柯震東) bowed and apologized to the public yesterday after being released in Beijing following a 14-day detention there for alleged marijuana use.

“I made mistakes. No reason, no excuse. I was wrong,” Ko told a Beijing news conference during which he burst into tears.

A sobbing Ko said his “foolish behavior” has put great pressure on his family and set a bad example for his fans, and now he must correct his mistakes because he does not want to disappoint the people who love him.

He also urged people not to imitate his illegal behavior and promised to never break the law again.

The 23-year-old, who won Taiwan’s Golden Horse Award for Best New Performer in 2011 for his role in the blockbuster You are the Apple of My Eye (那些年,我們ㄧ起追的女孩), was arrested in Beijing on Aug. 14 for allegedly smoking marijuana.

Jaycee Chan (房祖名), son of martial arts superstar Jackie Chan (成龍), was also arrested at the time.

Chinese police had previously released a video showing Ko making an apology to the public while he was still in detention, in which he also cried.

Soon after Ko’s release yesterday, Beijing police said on their official Sina microblog that he was freed upon the expiration of a 14-day period of administrative detention.

During his detention, Ko showed “deep regret” over the alleged act and promised that he would “never touch drugs again,” the police said.

Ko was scheduled to arrive at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 11:40pm yesterday.

Huang Mou-hsin (黃謀信), a spokesman for the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office, said the prosecutor handling the case has requested assistance from the Chinese authorities and has asked that they preserve the evidence that they have collected.

A senior prosecutor who spoke on condition of anonymity said Ko is not to be arrested upon his return home because he was not caught in the act of smoking marijuana.

Taipei police said that Ko would be met by officers who are to present him with a summons to report to prosecutors on Monday for questioning in relation to the case.

Besides resulting in a judicial probe, the incident might affect Ko’s acting career and his brand-endorsement contracts.

Over the past three years, Ko has signed endorsement deals with more than 20 brands, covering food, finance, fashion, cosmetics and cars, both in Taiwan and China. Nine of those contracts were signed this year.

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