HONG KONG: Hong Kong pop star Gillian Chung has spoken out for the first time since the celebrity sex-photo scandal that’s dominated headlines in the territory for the past two weeks.
At least eight other actresses including Cecilia Cheung and Bobo Chan are also implicated in the scandal, along with singer-actor Edison Chen.
In a meet-the-fans session, the singer from the Canto-pop duo “Twins” didn’t deny the authenticity of the compromising photos of her and actor Edison Chen floating on the internet.
Gillian Chung said: “Before, I was very naive and silly. But now I’m more mature. I thank my management, family and friends for taking care of me and for their support.”
“I regret the incident and its effect on the public. I will continue to work hard, and face the future positively,” she added.
This isn’t the first time nude pictures of Chung have surfaced.
In August 2006, local magazine Easyfinder was slammed for publishing pictures that were taken secretly when the singer was changing backstage at a concert in Malaysia.
The twists and turns of the latest scandal have dominated the Hong Kong media for weeks.
Initially, the photos were thought to be fakes.
It’s believed the images were taken from singer-actor Edison Chen’s computer when he sent it in for repairs. However, police have not confirmed this.
Chen has apologised to those affected via a taped video message and said he is helping police with investigations.
Eight people have been arrested so far, but the first suspect to be nabbed, has been denied bail.
Investigations on the hundreds of photos that are circulating on the internet are ongoing.
Many have expressed support for the female artistes affected.
A teenage boy said: “It hurts the person, and she won’t be happy about it. They shouldn’t be posting such pictures.”
Meanwhile, a young woman said: “They are wrong to post these pictures. But since it’s already out there, I hope the artistes won’t be too affected by this.”
“I hope the government will be able to legislate, so that those responsible and bold enough to post such pictures will not avoid prosecution. A lot of children have access to the internet, and they shouldn’t be exposed to such photos,” she added.
Another lady said: “In this digital age, you can easily manipulate photos by cropping off heads onto another body. As for this particular case, I think the individuals themselves are responsible, because they brought it on themselves. ”
This scandal is arguably one of the biggest to rock Hong Kong’s showbiz world. And it has left the Hong Kong people of two minds on the issue.
Fans of these celebrities are quick to defend their idols, while internet users protest against alleged double-standards by the police in arresting those accused of uploading the pictures.
About 300 internet users took to the streets Sunday, claiming that the police had failed to investigate other cases of nude photos released without permission.
Police have also clarified that it’s not illegal to transfer obscene picture files to friends but putting them onto a public domain, is. -CNA/vm
Channel News Asia