Thursday, February 21, 2008

Hong Kong Actor Edison Chen Quits, Admits Web Sex Photos

By Wendy Leung and Nipa Piboontanasawat

Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong actor Edison Chen said he'll quit show business after admitting taking sexually explicit photos with celebrities that leaked onto the Web and generated a wave of media coverage.

``I am deeply sorry,'' Chen told more than 300 journalists at a press conference in Hong Kong today. ``I admit most of the photos being circulated on the Internet were taken by me. I would like to apologize to all the ladies and their families.''

Hundreds of photos published online and in newspapers led to debate about Hong Kong pornography laws and a public apology from a female pop star. The pictures were posted on the Web after about 1,300 photo files were stolen from a computer sent to a repair shop, police said.

The sex-photo scandal involved at least six Hong Kong actresses, singers and models. Chen, a 27-year-old Canadian-born Chinese actor and singer famous in Hong Kong, returned to the city today to explain the incident after pictures started appearing from Jan. 28.

`Very Private'

``These photos were very private,'' Chen said. ``They were never intended to be shown to anyone. They were stolen from me and distributed without my consent.''

Hong Kong pop star and actress Gillian Chung earlier this month apologized to fans for the impact caused by the scandal, without confirming or denying she was the woman in some of the photos. Chung, 27, in pop group ``Twins,'' said she'll keep working.

Chen said he will quit the Hong Kong entertainment industry to ``heal himself'' and devote time to charity work, without giving a timeframe.

``I've failed as a role model,'' he said.

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