(image source, SFW but links out to image depositories
of all the Edison Chen photos that aren’t)
The above flowchart shows all the women that Edison Chen – a Canadian-Chinese actor/singer based in HK – has been connected with. A couple of weeks ago, the HK media was rocked by the release of pornographic images of Edison and three of these women. They were allegedly leaked by the tech guy repairing Edison’s computer, who has since been arrested.
For those not familiar with the Chinese entertainment world, most of the women on the chart are singers and actresses, with a few models thrown in for good measure. The most famous one to Western audiences is Maggie Q (near the top right), who has appeared in MI:3 and Die Hard 4.0.
Of all the pictures obtained by the computer tech, there were 6 women involved. For the investigating police, only 4 are known to them. Three of these 4 women (2 singers and 1 actress, with the actress being currently married to one of Edison’s friends, Nicholas Tse, an actor/singer) were the unfortunate ones to have been exposed before the police and the courts put a stop to it by warning that anyone caught distributing the photos risk being arrested.
Shanghaiist has a good round up of the events and people involved (NSFW even with pixellated photos – read it at home!).
Shanghaiist: Edison Chen, Bobo Chan, Gillian Chung and Cecilia Cheung embroiled in Hong Kong’s biggest sex photo scandal ever
For a less titilating summary:
Edison Chen photo scandal – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
To me, it’s one thing for naive everyday people to be caught up in a moment of foolishness like this, but for people in the entertainment business who have carefully crafted images it’s quite bizarre. Assuming that these people are aware of the importance of image in their line of work, what possess these women to pose for him? And how big must his ego be to not care about the possible consequences if they leaked out like it has now? Or are they all just dumb?
Photos of 6 women were found on this one computer. Are there more saved on other computers stashed away in his home? How depraved is this guy, really? And what would his fans think of him now? He may be able to shrug this off and become more “adult” and edgy with his image – that’s what I’d do anyway if I was his PR, but the women involved probably do not have this luxury. It’s still very much a double-standard world.
In this situation, there are two glaring lessons for the Youtube-loving, Facebook-hugging, and MySpace-living digital generation of today:
- Unless you are in the adult entertainment business, never ever take naked pictures and video of yourselves unless you can live with the scandal and embarrassment. And even if you can live with it, employers in most industries won’t. No matter how much you think he loves you, or how fun you think it’d be, think very carefully about what you are doing.
- If you are going to send your iPod/MP3 Player/Computer in for repairs make sure that there’s nothing incriminating or highly private on the machine. Encrypt the information if you can and know how to. Otherwise, transfer the data onto another computer and delete the originals. While you are at it, delete your browsing history, cache and saved cookies.
A contrite Edison had asked for people to stop spreading and to take down the images. People in HK may be compelled to do so, but at this stage it’s spread beyond HK’s borders and its laws. Unlike printed photos with negatives, once it’s out there it ain’t coming back. The Internet is a bitch like that.
One thing’s for sure: these people are not going to have a very happy Chinese New Year.