Edison Chen breaks silence on sex scandal

Edison Chen

Edison Chen

HONG KONG : He has retreated from showbiz, dealt with death threats and now disgraced pop idol Edison Chen who has been embroiled in Asia’s biggest sex scandal, is ready to reveal his side of the story.

The star who reportedly returned to Hong Kong about two weeks ago to settle some business matters – his father had recently declared bankruptcy – revealed in an interview with CNN’s Talk Asia that like the other female celebrities involved in the scandal, he too was a victim.

“I believed I was a victim. I believed that I was hurt by this a lot,” he told CNN. “I knew that I had nothing to do with the spreading of these photos.”

Cecilia Cheung

Cecilia Cheung

The lewd pictures which he said were taken with women’s full consent, showed Chen in compromising positions with at least half a dozen women, including Canto-pop star Gillian Chung, actress Cecilia Cheung and former actress Bobo Chan.

Chen told CNN he was terrified when the scandal broke in February last year. “I was afraid to go anywhere. I was traveling around when I was still in Hong Kong in trunks of taxis, literally, just to get to places,” he said.

Gillian Chung

Gillian Chung

“I had to be in the trunk for 15 minutes. I didn’t even know if I had enough oxygen to be honest with you.”

“Even when I had left Asia and I had went to Canada and America, it took me three months to really get out of the shell that I had put myself in. I mean, I was in darkness for five days,” he added.

“I had my drapes closed and I didn’t even want to go anywhere.”

The photos became an Internet sensation when they were stolen from Chen’s laptop when he sent it in for repairs in 2006 and circulated online, forcing the 29-year-old into early retirement and sending him fleeing to his childhood home of Canada.

Like Chen, some of the starlets have endured similar public disgrace and their careers have been ruined.

Bobo Chan and Edison Chen

Bobo Chan and Edison Chen

While Chen has apologized for any hurt or embarrassment caused soon after the photos surfaced last year, he has not spoken to any of the girls identified in the photos since the scandal broke.

“Initially it was because I couldn’t find them. Secondly, it was because I didn’t really know how to approach and really what to say to be honest with you,” Chen told CNN.

Cheung, wife of Hong Kong star Nicholas Tse, has publicly lashed out at the actor and accused him of being a hypocrite, saying the apology was all an act to “win the public’s forgiveness”.

In an interview with iCable in February 2009, Cheung said, “He has never apologized to us personally. He should at least have called us to say sorry if he genuinely admitted his mistake.”

“The photos are still circulating online. How can we live a healthy and happy life? How can we put ourselves back on our feet?” she added.

Responding to the accusations, Chen said, “I’m not trying to say that that justifies any wrong doing that she thinks I’ve done to her, but I hope that she can understand and I hope that she can forgive me either today or one day, and she’ll understand that I had my difficulties and I really, really never wished this to happen upon anyone and I still respect her.”

Hong Kong computer technician Sze Ho Chun who was found guilty of stealing, copying and distributing about 1,300 photos, has been sentenced to eight and a half months’ jail.

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