Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Edison Chen's Day in Court
Hip hop singer, actor, fashion model and aspiring entertainment executive Edison Chen (Chinese name - 陈冠希 or Chen Guanxi) appeared in a Vancouver court this week. Which gives me the opportunity to introduce "Sexy Photosgate", China's biggest entertainment scandal of 2008. Before Sexy Photosgate, the 28 year old Canadian-born Chen was a middling star in the Hong Kong firmament. However the scandal early last year transformed him into Hong Kong's most infamous celebrity.
Sexy Photosgate involved a series of explicit photos taken by Chen showing some bedroom behaviour between him and several female celebrities. The photos found their way on to the internet, creating a frenzy among internet users and the media alike. The images were reportedly receiving 20 million views a day at the time, and the story was front page news in the Hong Kong press for something like a record 21 consecutive days. Shanghai Daily listed it as its number one story of 2008, based on most clicks received; amazingly it beat the Sichuan earthquake and Beijing Olympics.
The scandal forced Chen into an early but indefinite retirement, and seriously embarrassed the women involved, with their careers in jeopardy, a marriage postponed and even threats from the triads. For a very comprehensive, blow-by-blow account of how the whole thing unfolded, you can't go past the article on the EastSouthWestNorth website.
Chen testified on Monday in the case against Ho-Chun Sze who worked as a technician in the computer store that repaired Chen's computer containing the incriminating photos. Sze has been charged with stealing the photos and publicly distributing them. The trial is being held in Hong Kong but Chen, reluctant to return to Hong Kong, gave evidence from Vancouver.