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5 things about Taiwanese actor Kai Ko, who was arrested in Beijing on drug charges

Published on Aug 19, 2014 9:24 PM
Taiwanese actor Kai Ko, also known as Ko Chen-tung, celebrates winning the Best New Performer category for You Are The Apple Of My Eye at the 48th Golden Horse Film Awards in Hsinchu, northern Taiwan on Nov 26, 2011. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

Taiwanese actor Kai Ko was arrested in Beijing on drug charges, and admitted to taking marijuana. The 23-year-old was seen on Monday in a China Central Television broadcast weeping as he apologised for his misdeed. Accused of drug possession, he is being detained for 14 days.

While much of the media attention surrounding the case has focused on Jackie Chan's son Jaycee, who is suspected of accommodating drug users, Ko is well-known in the region as well. Here are five things about him.

He shot to fame in the 2011 movie You Are The Apple Of My Eye

Plucked from anonymity to star in Giddens Ko's semi-autobiographical movie You Are The Apple Of My Eye, Kai Ko became a star in the region after the movie topped box offices in Taiwan and Hong Kong, and earned around $3 million in Singapore.

Despite being a first-time actor, Ko's performance was praised by The Straits Times media correspondent Boon Chan, who said he nailed "Ching-teng’s mix of impishness and idealism, swagger and shyness – an endearingly and maddeningly immature boy on the cusp of manhood".

Ko picked up the award for best new performer at the Golden Horse Awards in 2011.

His ex is Mandopop star Elva Hsiao, who is 12 years his senior

Ko, now 23, made headlines in 2012 when the news of his romance with Mandopop star Elva Hsiao broke. Hsiao, who turns 35 later in August, is 12 years his senior, and is the bigger star.

Things turned sour in April this year though, after Ko was snapped with his arm around another woman. The couple reportedly quarrelled in a nightclub on May 1. Since then, Hsiao has gushed publicly about her new beau - Singaporean Elroy Cheo, the brother-in-law of singer Van Ness Wu - while Ko was rumoured to have blasted her on Facebook.

He has had a brain tumour removed

The actor and singer revealed to fans in 2012 that there was a growth in the back of his brain, reassuring them that the surgery was minor and that his condition wasn't serious. He seemed to take it quite well, snapping selfies after he was admitted and posting on his micro-blog: "Going in for maintenance! When I'm out, I'll become stronger and more awesome! I'm thankful for everyone's well wishes and I'll see you soon!"

Jaycee Chan's parents think he is a bad influence

Even before the latest scandal unfurled, Jaycee Chan's parents Jackie Chan and Lin Feng-chiao thought Ko was a bad influence, and had told Jaycee to stay away from him. Lin had warned Jaycee about Ko after the two were spotted pubbing in Hong Kong. Ko had also promised Jackie at his 60th birthday celebrations in April that he would not lead Jaycee astray.

Ko is a self-professed fun-loving guy with a weakness for clubbing and hanging out with friends over drinks. It seems to run in the family, as Ko told The New Paper in a 2012 interview: "My family is a little weird in that we always chill out together. When we drink, very often, it’s my dad who is the most drunk at the end of the night.”

He is a fan of Girls' Generation's Yoona

Likes other guys his age, Ko finds it hard to resist the charms of K-pop stars - in his case, Girls' Generation member Yoona. He reportedly told Korean media while promoting You Are The Apple Of My Eye, that he likes the singer and actress, and has posted pictures of her on his Instagram account. Ko also posted a picture wishing her a happy birthday, and when asked by a fan what he thought of Yoona's relationship with actor Lee Seung Gi, he expressed his jealousy and congratulated Lee.