Sex picture scandal ends career of hip-hop star

The curtain fell on the startling career of the Hong Kong hip-hop bad boy Edison Chen yesterday, after he retired from showbiz in the wake of a nude celebrity photo scandal. The explicit photos have rocked the territory and will make Cantopop stars and film starlets think twice about meeting a loved one's wishes to get down and dirty in the boudoir for an amateur photo shoot.

While the mainland has been gripped by tales of blizzards and trapped migrant workers, Hong Kong has been more concerned with what was on Chen's hard drive. And they have been asking themselves what the 27-year-old Canadian-born heart-throb thought he was doing taking 1,300 photos of himself having sex with a dozen different starlets.

"I have failed as a role model," said the clearly shocked actor as cameras flashed from the hundreds of reporters gathered. "However I wish that this matter will teach everyone a lesson."

Chen's career was on an upswing before the scandal broke – fronting for Pepsi and a mention in People magazine's sexiest men alive list. And the furore has been tricky for him to handle. He admitted for the first time yesterday that most of the pictures circulating on the internet – where on one site they have been viewed nearly 28 million times – had been taken by him. "These photos were very private and have not been shown to people and were never intended to be shown to anyone," he said.

Chen had previously made an impassioned plea for people to delete the photos and stop downloading them. But it's hard to call for decency when your reputation is based on being a hip-hop gangster-style "playa". He acted in Infernal Affairs, the Hong Kong triad film which was the basis for Martin Scorsese's Oscar-winning film The Departed.

Hong Kongers are less reserved than their counterparts across the border, but they are still fairly prudish on matters sexual. So it was with a mixture of titillation and horror that they looked at the pictures, which seem to have been stolen from Chen's pink laptop after he took it to a repair shop. Hong Kong police have so far made 10 arrests in connection with the scandal.

Could that really be Gillian Chung, half of Hong Kong's sweeter-than-sugar singing sensation Twins posing like that? Or The Promise star Cecilia Cheung in a compromising position? There's no way that's Bobo Chan in flagrante delicto? On Chinese-language websites, bloggers carefully compared the tattoos on the stars' bodies and birthmarks and moles to see if they matched other pictures. They were definitely fairly good copies, if they were fakes.

Emperor Entertainment, Chung's management company, said they were fake initially, but a public statement by Chung apologising for the photos, saying it was time to get on with her life and career after the embarrassment was widely read as an admission that the photos were probably real. She got a standing ovation. While there is sympathy there, it will take a PR behemoth to repair the squeaky clean images of Chung and Chan, and there are question marks over the planned wedding between Cheung and the Hong Kong film star Nicholas Tse.

As for Chen, he is now hoping for some time away from the media spotlight. "Let's help the wounded heal their wounds," he said. He said he planned to do some charity work, telling reporters: "I've decided to do this to give myself an opportunity to heal myself and to search my soul."

Sport
Lionel Messi pictured after reaching the final
world cup 2014
Sport
Lionel Messi and Thomas Muller have shone brightest for Argentina and Germany respectively on their way to the World Cup final
Sport
Brazilian fans watch the match for third place between Brazil and Netherlands
Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: Dutch pile on the misery in third place playoff
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Eminem's daughter Hailie has graduated from high school
music
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Arts and Entertainment
'Deep Breath' is Peter Capaldi's first full-length adventure as the twelfth Doctor
TVFirst episode of new series has ended up on the internet
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, Accreditation, ITIL)

£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...

C# Developer (HTML5, JavaScript, ASP.NET, Mathematics, Entity)

£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

C# Integration Developer (.NET, Tibco EMS, SQL 2008/2012, XML)

£60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...

Biztalk - outstanding opportunity

£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?