TAIPEI - Next Magazine sparked a guessing game in Taiwan on Wednesday, releasing the initials of entertainers, including four A-list celebrities, it said are in an international prostitution ring that is under investigation.
And supermodel Chiling Lin, 40, whose name has been dragged into the scandal, threatened to sue the weekly, said Apple Daily.
Taiwan and the United States are jointly investigating a ring run by a woman, Tai Chun-yi, who allegedly procured starlets as travel companions for businessmen, said Taipei Times. The authorities have found that Tai's clients included mostly rich men in China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, as well as overseas Chinese in Singapore, Australia and the US.
Next Magazine said it had obtained lists of the celebrities and clients, though it published only initials, nicknames and descriptions of them.
Topping the list of the 38 Taiwan celebrities are four A-list stars who charge NT$2 million (S$87,000) or more for sexual services, said Apple Daily. They are "Big Sister L", a highly visible model who has become a movie actress, "Big Sister S", a model who has acted in a popular idol drama and films, "C", an actress who shot to stardom with a movie and switched to a television career in China, and "Y", a model who has acted in many idol dramas, said reports in the Taiwan and Hong Kong editions of the newspaper.
Among the women whose asking price begins at NT$1 million are "Y", a game spokesmodel who has sung and acted, and "Pure S" and "Tall W", two pop group members and actresses who are now mothers, said Apple Daily.
The 18 clients include "K", a Taiwan tech magnate, "H", a self-made tycoon who is married to a Chinese star, "C", a Macau casino and movie magnate, "Old heavenly king K", a Hong Kong superstar who acts and sings, "King of spades", a Hong Kong moviemaker with countless works, and "Fatty L", a Hong Kong tycoon who has been linked to Taiwan stars, said the reports.
Next Magazine interviewed two women who worked for Tai, said Apple Daily. They said their madam had often bragged about arranging business dinners for Lin, and claimed credit for the supermodel's popularity.
Lin said through her agent that she did not know Tai. The model said: "The media's hearsay and aimless speculation have dealt severe blows and done injury to personal dignity."
She said legal action would be taken against false reports.
The Taipei District Prosecutors Office declined to comment on the lists, said Apple Daily. However, some investigators privately cast doubt on Next Magazine's story.
A police officer was quoted as saying: "This is the case I'm on? How come I didn't know there were so many big names?"