HK star apologizes for lurid photos

Edison Chen issues video statement

HONG KONG — One week after the lurid celebrity photos scandal that has dominated headlines in Hong Kong, film and Cantopop star Edison Chen finally broke his silence in a video apology issued through his lawyer.

Also, on Tuesday a second man appeared in court in connection with the case.

Si Ho Jun was charged with dishonest use of computers with criminal intent, in connection with the photos purportedly of Chen and a string of female celebrities. He was granted bail set at HK$50,000 ($8,000) and had his travel documents confiscated. He must report back to police Feb. 22.

In the video statement, Chen called the leaking of the photos “intentionally hurtful and malicious,” and he apologized “to anyone who has been affected by this strange, strange ordeal.”

“The lives of many innocent people have been hurt by this malicious and criminal conduct and in this regard I’m filled with pain, hurt and frustration,” Chen said in the video, which has been widely viewed on YouTube and other video sites. “I now call upon everyone to assist the victims in this case.”

Police have thus far discovered more than 1,300 photos involving six women, four of whom are believed to be public figures.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (Crime) Vincent Wong Fook-chuen said the source of the pictures had been traced. The photos are thought to be stolen by Si from Chen’s computer when he had it serviced last year.

However, the public is unmoved by Chen’s apology. Posters on Internet forums openly attacked the star, calling him a “coward” for not admitting his responsibility in the scandal.