Edison Chen Returned to Hong Kong for the First Time Since the Nude Sex Photo Scandal Broke

Edison Chen is under heavy police and private security protection that would put the president of the United States to shame.

Hong Kong singer and actor Edison Chen finally returned to Hong Kong secretly and faced the HK public for the first time by holding a press conference. Edison apologized in English to the women involved in the naughty photo sex scandal surrounding him, and to all of Hong Kong, where the public is outraged. Edison Chen said on Thursday he would step away from the Hong Kong entertainment industry to “heal himself”, in his first public appearance since the sex scandal broke.

Hong Kong singer and actor Edison Chen reacts during a news conference in Hong Kong on February 21, 2008. "I've decided to step away from the Hong Kong entertainment industry," Chen told reporters, while apologizing to Hong Kong for the scandal which has drawn blanket media coverage over several weeks.

Edison Chen will be away from the Hong Kong entertainment industry for an "indefinite period," he said "there is no time frame." This means Edison plans to work in Hollywood in the USA, and will return to Hong Kong entertainment once people move on from this scandal. He said he will do volunteer work while he clears his mind, which means he will be trying to rehabilitate his image with the public.

Some have speculated that this decision to step away from the Hong Kong entrainment scene is not fully his but rather a result of him getting blacklisted by the Hong Kong movie studios. Producers writers and actors are refusing to work with Edison Chen as a result of the photo sex scandal.

Police believe the arrest they made Saturday - one of seven total - is that of the man who initially uploaded the photos he found on a computer he was repairing. Whether or not he is the one who called himself "Kira" is unclear.

Police have not released any names of suspects in the case, or the name of the computer's owner.

Another suspect was arrested Sunday, but police said they didn't find any of the photos on his computer.

The man arrested Saturday is expected to appear in court today. Some of the people arrested did nothing other than just downloading and saving the image from the internet.

Crime Assistant Commissioner of Police Vincent Wong Fook-chuen said somebody took the computer to a repair shop, where the photos were found on the hard drive and distributed unscrupulously to others.

Over 1,300 photos have been seized, and most of them are obscene. Six females were involved, four of them identified as showbiz artists. Wong refused to comment on how many men were portrayed.

Chen was among the celebrities identified in the photos that depict them in sexual acts. He publicly commented on the scandal in Hong Kong for the first time yesterday.

"I feel painful, hurt and frustration," he said in a video released to the media by his manager. "I hereby use this opportunity to apologize to anyone who's been affected by this strange ordeal."

Chen called on anyone who possessed the images to destroy them immediately.

"Let's help the wounded heal their wound," he added, calling the photos' distribution "malicious and criminal".

He said the ongoing investigation prohibited him from commenting further. Police said the Saturday arrest took place at a computer repair shop in Central and that the man would be charged with access to a computer with criminal or dishonest intent.

In addition to Chen, the celebrities pictured also resemble Gillian Chung Yan-tung, Bobo Chan Man-woon and Cecilia Cheung Pak-chi. Gillian Chung is the only other celebrity to come forward and make a public statement by apologizing while not admitting she is one of the women pictured with Edison engage in sex acts.

Gillian Chung refused to admit this is her with Edison Chen. I guess she is trying to maintain her virginal image.

The five suspects arrested last week have each been released on HK$20,000 bail. They included two women and three men.

Wong said the man arrested Sunday may also be released on bail.

Sin Chung-kai, a Legislative Council member representing information technology functional constituency, called on computer repair shops to carefully handle clients' data.

Still, the police's arrests in its recent investigation have made many Hongkongers worry that it is illegal to store obscene data on their computers, Sin said.

The Legislative Council's Information Technology and Broadcasting Panel will hold a special meeting after the lunar new year to ask for the police's explanation on the arrests.

Solicitor Vitus Leung Wing-hang, said it isn't against the law to store obscene data or share the data point-to-point.

It would also be legal, he said, for people to share obscene materials with adults, or upload the data to websites indicating they would contain sexual content.

"But a person would be in breach of the Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles Ordinance if he or she publishes obscene materials publicly - such as on an open forum for all ages - as youths under 18 could access them," Leung said.

The scandal has shocked the general public and ignited debate about sexual morality. When legislator Timothy Fok asked Chief Executive Donald Tsang whether the scandal affected Hong Kong's reputation as a regional hub, Tsang replied that it was "a serious issue which demanded [...] further follow-up"