Actor Eric Tsang denies drink driving

HONG KONG • Hong Kong veteran actor Eric Tsang has denied he was drink driving in a traffic accident which took place in Japan on Tuesday.

According to Hong Kong media, the 65-year-old actor was driving in Hokkaido on Christmas Day when his car collided with a seven-seater vehicle carrying Hong Kong police director of crime and security Li Chi Hang and his family.

Tsang and a woman with him in the car were not injured, but Mr Li and his family were hospitalised.

In a statement to the media late on Thursday, Tsang said the accident took place at noon.

"I did not receive any request from the local police to undergo a breathalyser test, so reports which said I was drink driving were untrue," he added.

He said he has given his statement to the Japanese police, who said he could leave the country at any time. He added that he would return to Taiwan to continue shooting a movie.

"I am most worried about the senior police officer who was injured and I wish him a speedy recovery. This is my greatest wish," Tsang said.

Ms Vanus Li is Eric Tsang's personal make-up artist and was in the car during the accident. PHOTO: INSTAGRAM / VANUS LI

Apple Daily reported that Mr Li suffered injury to his cervical vertebrae and was flown by helicopter to another hospital - separate from his family - for surgery.

He can move his limbs and is able to eat after the operation. He is likely to be hospitalised for about five weeks.

Hong Kong police have sent representatives to Japan and they are in close contact with the local medical staff. They will arrange for Mr Li to be sent to Hong Kong for further treatment and recovery if his condition allows him to fly.

The woman with Tsang in the car has been identified as Ms Vanus Li, a make-up artist in her 40s. She is the widow of late TVB make-up artist Gary Cheung, who died of a heart attack in April 2014.

According to Apple Daily, Ms Li is not only Tsang's personal make-up artist, but she also manages his daily work matters, so they will usually travel together. She was spotted with Tsang visiting a shop in Osaka, Japan, two years ago.

Ms Li was formerly a hairstylist at broadcaster TVB and is familiar with many Hong Kong artists.

She has uploaded on social media photos of herself with Tsang and other actors, such as Charmaine Sheh, Alex To and Elvina Kong.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 29, 2018, with the headline 'Actor Eric Tsang denies drink driving'. Print Edition | Subscribe