Thursday, February 7, 2008

Gillan Chung, Bobo Chan, Cecilia Cheung- The Edison Chen Photo Scandal

I've just been fascinated by this scandal involving all of these actresses and actors I've never heard of from Hong Kong. Of course, it's not truly a scandal. Nude pictures of consenting adults as a "scandal" seems pretty old fashioned to me, but maybe I'm just ahead of that curve. Anyhow, here's the story from Wikipedia.

The Edison Chen photo scandal is a media scandal that involves Hong Kong actor Edison Chen and actresses Gillian Chung, Bobo Chan, Cecilia Cheung, and possibly other female celebrities. It started in January 2008 when nude photographs of people resembling the actors engaging in sexual acts with each other were distributed on the internet. As at 4 February, eight people have been arrested for being connected with the distribution of the photos. The affair dominated news headlines for over a week.

In November 2006, Chen allegedly purchased a pink PowerBook from eLite Multimedia, a computer shop in Hong Kong's Central district. When Chen's computer was sent in for repairs, allegedly an estimated 1,300 photographs of numerous celebrities were found on its hard drive. Chen's photographs were reportedly taken sometime between 2003 and 2005. A close friend of Chen was cited as saying that Edison liked to take intimate photos with his women, at least 14 celebrities, and he would show them to a select group of friends.

The first nude photo, of a man and a woman resembling Chen and Gillian Chung, was published at approximately 8:30 pm, 27 January 2008, in a post on the website Hong Kong Discuss Forum. The genitals and nipples of the woman and head of the man could be clearly seen. Although the original post was deleted after a few hours, some visitors forwarded the photo to other major forums such as Uwants and HKGolden. Chung's management agency, Emperor Entertainment Group (EEG), immediately denied that the photos were authentic and filed a police report. The news became the headline of several major local Hong Kong newspapers, including Apple Daily, Oriental Daily News, The Sun, Headline Daily, and Metro News.

At 3 p.m. on the same day as EEG's statement, a second explicit photograph of a couple with the likenesses of Chen and Bobo Chan engaged in fellatio appeared on the internet. An emergency meeting was held at EEG immediately that evening, after which the company declared through its solicitors that it would pursue the publisher of the image for this "irresponsible" and "malicious act". Gillian Chung was reportedly very distraught, had taken a leave of absence, and would not comment on the matter. Shaped by the denials, the initial media consensus, later played down, was that the photographs were photoshopped.

On 29 January, at 12:30 p.m., a third photograph, of a woman fondling her nipples while her legs were wide apart appeared on the internet. The photograph was of a much higher resolution than the previous shots, and the subject bore the likeness of Cecilia Cheung. The photographs became the talk of the town, and journals attempted to authenticate the photographs by comparing physical features of the starlet. Local discussion forums became saturated as a result. A low-resolution composite of a sexual sequence (photos 4 to 7) of a couple, possibly Chen and Chung, with the female wearing a bikini at the start of the sequence appeared at 3 p.m.; a photograph, allegedly of Cecilia Cheung standing naked in a bathroom with her back facing the camera appeared at 6 p.m. Journals in Mainland China compared the backgrounds of the photographs to previously released videos filmed inside Chen's residence. The police, and photo experts who examined the photos involving the first three female celebrities, say the photos are unlikely to have been photoshopped.

On 6 February, a forum user named "Kira" leaked more photos and promised to release a 32-minute video, allegedly of Chen and Chung, on 7 February. In spite of the ongoing raids in Hong Kong, Kira reportedly wrote that he did not "give a sh*t" since he was "not in hk" to begin with.

Person resembling Number of Photos
Gillian Chung 53
Bobo Chan 47
Cecilia Cheung 11
Rachel Ngan 10
Mandy Chen Yu-Ju 41
Candice Chan Si-Wai 48

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