#PopVultures Podcast: Can I Tell You Something Crazy? Pt 1 of the Edison Chen sex photo-gate

Hong Kong singer-actor Edison Chen makes an appearance at an Adidas 60th anniversary celebration event on Feb 27, 2009. PHOTO: TNP FILE

Synopsis: Each month, The Straits Times examines the ins and outs of pop culture in the Asian entertainment and Hollywood scene.

Actor and pop star Edison Chen was at one time one of the hottest, most promising young celebrities in the Hong Kong entertainment industry. But then a shocking sex scandal forced him out of the city’s film industry.

In 2008, hundreds of sexually explicit photos of Chen with female celebrities such as idol singer Gillian Chung and actress Cecilia Cheung leaked on the Internet, sparking a scandal that made headline news and dominated the pages of tabloids for weeks and months. It was later discovered that these private photos were stolen from Chen’s laptop when he dropped it off for repair. Chen, as well as the various women seen in the photos, were viciously shamed by the public and hounded by the media. 

Now, exactly 15 years after the first photos leaked on January 27, 2008, host Jan Lee takes a look at how the saga unfolded in a new scripted series under the #PopVultures banner, titled Can I Tell You Something Crazy. This inaugural edition kicks off with a two-parter about the Edison Chen sex-photogate. 

Over the two episodes, Jan looks at how the media covered the story, how the case was handled by the police and the brutal victim-shaming and trauma the celebrities suffered. She also examines why the story is such an encapsulation of a unique, yet bygone time in history - after the advent of the Internet but before the proliferation of smartphones, social media and online news. 

In this first episode, she covers Chen’s debut in show business, what happened when the scandal first broke and the reactions of the public, the media as well as the celebrity response in the immediate aftermath of the scandal. 

Find Part 1 here: https://str.sg/wv4r

Produced by: Jan Lee (janlee@sph.com.sg) & Penelope Lee

Edited by: Penelope Lee, Teo Tong Kai & Eden Soh

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